Let’s address the elephant in the room, shall we? Lockdown has been awful for everyone, people have lost careers, homes and even had their health affected by being stuck indoors unable to do normal things, but a lot of people adapted and evolved to work even while being stuck indoors, the gaming industry has had to completely change in order to survive, developers have been working from home, entertainers have moved to more live streaming services than making videos, and twitch has had an explosion of streamers moving to their platform, so let’s talk about how they are handling this radical change in their daily lives and how it has also affected gamers too.
The entertainment industry has been hit quite massively as you can’t go to a football game or a west end production without having a large number of people crammed together, so a lot of the usual forms of entertainment have been forced to shut up shop if not for the time being then for the foreseeable future, so a lot of entertainers have turned to the online community, from fashion and jewelry stores moving to Etsy to Disney on ice performers moving to Twitch streaming, people have shown incredible resilience to the pressures that covid has forced upon us.
The formats that YouTubers use have changed as well, since a lot of YouTube channels usually work from some sort of office and shoot from a studio they have been forced to record their content from home, turning bedrooms and home offices into studios, it’s also odd how there has been an influx of channels moving to a streaming format maybe it is to make recording from home easier? I’m not sure, but what it has done is made talking to other like-minded people easier, instead of a passive messaging system when you can put a message on a channel’s pre-recorded video you can now actively talk to the people who are watching the stream together, it has created some closely knitted communities.
Games developers have had an interesting time with the lockdown as well in that they have been more successful than many other industries, games like Animal Crossing have just boomed, selling a whopping 31 million units to date it became a global success due in part to the lockdown since so many people were stuck indoors and are seeking escapism and video games have been a great way to achieve this, fortunately, the development of video games can be more easily moved to a work from home format so keeping the development process going has been easier to do, but it hasn’t been without problems, issues like isolation from being at home all the time and lake of motivation have of course slowed the development process but they keep working hard and putting out great games.
In my experience the lockdown has had one unexpected side effect in that it has created communities of people who have bonded over the joined loss of normality, people have taken to Twitch and YouTube in great numbers to watch their favorite streamers and have created connections all across the globe, since going into lockdown I have joined Twitch and Discord channels and have made quite a few friends, one group in particular, was created by the Twitch streamer FlannelJax, he has worked hard to create a community that has been dubbed the FlannelFam, and it is more than just a group of viewers it is more akin to family in that we all sit down a few times a week and chat about the weeks’ events and support each other when it is needed, it is truly an inspiration that even during a global pandemic where selfishness is ripe, that groups like this have formed to look out and care for one another.
The massive changes that have had to be made across so many areas have shown the incredible resilience and adaptability of people, my hope is that a lot of the changes will persist even when we have inevitably overcome the covid 19 virus, the lockdown has been the red hot forge that has shown how strong we can all be together, and the changes currently in place have made it easier for some people to work, rather than being forced to commute we have shown that it can be more effective to have a work from home setup in place, let’s hope that all the positive results that have come from this will persist into the future.
Maybe this will be the start of a whole new chapter in world development? We shall soon see.