Article By: Jessi 7XS
Corona, Rona, Sars 2, COVID-19. The most recent Pandemic in the last 10 years. First schools were canceling, then came the closures of restaurants, retail stores, gyms, recreation, amusements; everything just stopped running how it ‘normally’ would.
Due to all the restrictions, we found ourselves at home, “in the house bored”. But what gave us a sense of normalcy? Gaming. Gaming and this Community. We went from having our part time or full time jobs or school, to gaming 24/7 to fill the void.
But was that necessarily the best thing to do? My vote, yes, 100%. It’s natural that we thrive on social interaction, even for those of us who are introverts need some type of interaction outside of our own families. Be honest, even though we love our families, they can get on your nerves to some extent. Our community is here, as it has always been, to give us the social interaction we need and be the family that we need as well.
While our positions in this community are not a technical job, if we dedicate hours in a day to our ranks, then it becomes one. This is not a bad thing! It fills the void that was created when we were taken out of school or our jobs. It gives us that normal that we need, to be with friends, doing something that we love. Not to mention, who can argue with the extra time we got to have on our hands to grind that game we’ve needed to finish?
Wanting to know how others in the community had been affected by the pandemic, I reached out and this is what other members had to say.
“The Covid pandemic has affected me in many different ways. First it closed my school, which in turn made me have more time to game; don’t get me wrong I love to game. But this has treated me way different because a family member is sick. So, while the rest of my friends had fun and hung out I couldn’t, so I gamed. I was having so much fun, until one day I just hit a roadblock. All the games got boring and I was tired of playing with the same people. Then one day, I saw one of my old buddies, you may know him as Swifty of XGN, in a party. Haven’t spoken to him in a while, so I joined and someone in that party, XGN iLL, who I first met when I joined XGN back in 2016, asked me how I was and what not and was wondering if I was interested in joining XGN again. This is where it comes full loop. I was bored of my current friends and games, so I decided it would be a great opportunity and I decided to join back. In reality this pandemic hitting made me join back to XGN. Without the pandemic I probably wouldn’t have been online at the time Swifty was and thus in turn wouldn’t have joined back to XGN. Joining back into XGN has been great. I’ve met so many new friends and family (yes I called XGN family because in short that is what it is).”
~ XGN Black Panther, XGN Envy PS CPT~
“Ever since my dad showed me how to play “Ghost Recon: Summit Strike 2” on the original Xbox, I’ve been in love with gaming. Throughout middle school, it became an escape from life, and it still is; however, it has become more of a lifestyle since then. Throughout this pandemic, I’ve made some great, and not so great choices. From deciding to join TXO, to thinking it was a good idea to ride my longboard with loose trucks, which caused me to break my right wrist and right collarbone. Regardless, gaming has been a part of my life since the beginning, and now more than ever. With quarantine, comes lots of free time, and it can be spent doing a plethora of activities. I’ve used it to make friends through XS, spend time with family, and recover from surgery. Gaming has really helped me cope with a lot of things, not just during quarantine. It’s been a crazy ride through this pandemic so far, and I don’t think it’s getting better any time soon. But what I’ve noticed about the gaming community is that no matter who you are, or what your background is, it doesn’t matter to other gamers; we’re one big, international family. Gamers can seem toxic and violent to outsiders, but once you’ve become a true gamer, you realize that we’re some of the best people to be friends with. And that’s really shined during quarantine, we’ve come together to do so many things. Let it be donating to streamers doing charity streams, or completing community challenges within our favorite games. We have come together to form an even stronger bond amongst gamers across the world.”
~ TXOSwag, TXO Synthetic XK MSG~
For myself, I was at work on March 15th when the MA Governor made orders to shut down schools, all non-essential businesses, and bars/restaurants on the 17th. Not knowing what to do I called the owner to see what the deal was, and that’s when I was told this order was forcing my work to close, and that we were all going to be laid off. We [those of us on shift] kept telling ourselves until we left that night, that it would all be okay. I got home that night and cried for hours, afraid that I wouldn’t have a job to come back to, that I was going to lose my car because I had no income. The next day, I did what any adult in denial would do….spent hours at the bar at Applebees [before the state shut it down] with friends to put it out of my mind, not the best idea I had. For the last 116 days I’ve tried to stay busy, do house work, home improvement projects, tried to get out more, grinded on wayy to much Minecraft, and apparently I’m a gardener now? But XS has been my normal, my rock. My duties within the community, and being able to talk to everyone has been helping to keep me from going nuts. I’ve been struggling a lot with stress, doubt, the distancing, not being able to have my regular day to day life, worrying about my parents who are both high risk, my in-laws who are high risk, and even my boyfriend having a period of time where he was out of work [voluntary leave because he is high risk with Diabeetus], and had ended up having a serious health complication, and it’s taken its toll on me. But everyone here has [without them knowing] been what has really held me together. I appreciate all of you guys more than you realize.
Remember, when you see all those commercials that say we can be alone together, they are absolutely right. We are all in this together no matter where we come from. If you need someone to talk to, please reach out to each other. Don’t bottle it in and feel like you need to keep it to yourself. We are family here in XS, and we are here for each other no matter what.