Game on, Coronavirus

By Casey Choung

With all of this time on their hands, students have found time to relax, explore their passions, and sleep all day. However, some may feel extremely unmotivated and need something to fill the time. Enter the world of gaming, where you can sink endless hours into a game and not even realize it. 

Gaming may seem like something that demands money in order to be good quality, but there are good options when it comes to free gaming. These are games that are easy to pick up, can be run on browsers, and do not require beefy computers to play. Many of these options are multiplayer, so students can hook their friends on the game. 

Club Penguin Rewritten is an online roleplaying game, where you wander around and awkwardly interact with other players as a penguin. There are a slew of activities and minigames that appeal to all audiences. One day a player can solve elaborate mysteries as a secret agent, and the next they can practice “Card-Jitsu,” Club Penguin’s aesthetically pleasing version of rock-paper-scissors. There are also tons of achievements and secrets that players can pour their time into, and the character customization options are plentiful. Everything is just how one would remember it, even though the original Club Penguin shut down years ago. The nostalgia is another incentive for returning players to come back and feel like they’re nine years old again. Club Penguin Rewritten also tears down its predecessor’s membership program, giving everyone access to the content that was previously only available to those who paid money. 

Realm of the Mad God is a multiplayer action adventure game, where you go around slaying monsters and acquiring loot. To start, there are multiple classes that players can choose from; some are given to players while others must be unlocked. Then the player is dumped into a world filled with monsters and dungeons, and must slowly grind their way up to level 20, the max level. The next goal players face is defeating Oryx, the ultimate boss of the realm. Along the way players accumulate better equipment and better stats, just like any dungeon crawler. Even though dying can be frustrating, it is an important step in progressing. In this regard, the game can be very grindy, but the progress is tangible and can feel very rewarding. 

ZenGM is a sports front office simulation game, where players can live out their fantasies of running a professional sports team. The website offers all of America’s favorite sports; the list includes basketball, baseball, football and hockey, as well as their collegiate counterparts. The interface is simplistic, but highly intuitive. At first, players can choose to play with either randomly generated players or import a roster based off of real athletes. Players are given many options when it comes to how they want to run a team. They can trade picks and players, adjust team finances, and fix team rotations. The simulations mimic real professional sports leagues: there is a draft lottery in the case of the basketball simulation, free agency signing periods, and end of year awards. If that isn’t enough content, players can stride towards the many challenging achievements, or can play god in their league. While the game is single player, there are many multiplayer leagues where players compete against each other to build the best team. Maybe try playing a thousand seasons by the end of quarantine.

These are only a few of the options when it comes to what students can play for free and online. The number of these games far exceeds the demand, even now with everyone at home. While gaming can be a great escape for some, it should always be the last option for people. Instead, students ought to look for more tangible hobbies before staying up all night grinding away at a game.