Forging bonds through combat and simulation

Students stay connected in quarantine with video games

Senior Elijah Fincher engages in online combat in multiplayer game Valorant. Fincher believes video games offer an avenue for recollection amid the problems of the outside world.

Provided Elijah Fincher

Senior Elijah Fincher engages in online combat in multiplayer game Valorant. Fincher believes video games offer an avenue for recollection amid the problems of the outside world.

Marcello Garbo, Staff Writer

With the recent enforcement of social distancing guidelines by local and state governments,  Bonita Vista High (BVH) students have been using alternative methods to stay in contact with teachers, staff and students. One of the methods they use to stay in touch is playing online games such as Valorant, Animal Crossing New Horizons and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. 

“I really like these games because they are engaging and require a lot of strategy [such as the game Super Smash Bros.] and I like the others because they are relaxing and enjoyable [such as the game Animal Crossing],” Super Smash Bros. manager of the BVH Esports club and junior Dillan Busk said.

Due to the fact that more people are now staying home, more people have time to play and experience new video games. BVH students have been playing Animal Crossing New Horizons, which was released on March 20, and has since then sold over 13 million copies in part due to more people staying home and its widespread media coverage.

“Video games are a fun way to spend your time, something we all have a lot of now. It’s great to have something to do, to be able to just have fun, especially when you can play with friends online,” Busk said.

Additionally, members of the BVH community have started playing online games in order to keep in contact with other people, and more students have decided to start online gaming. Students have picked up games such as Valorant, a multiplayer first-person shooter game published by Riot Games, who has also published the popular game League of Legends, also played by BVH students.

“I have noticed more people getting into online gaming which is a cool addition to our community. The increase in online players has slowed down servers but it’s great having new people in the community,” Vice President of BVH Esports club and senior Ajani Oquendo said. 

Video games also serve as a way to help students overcome the anxiety that has been a result of the recent stay-at-home orders. 

“I feel like video games are one of the best ways to interact with friends while staying at home.

[They] are especially important during these times, as they allow people to connect and forget the struggles of the outside world for a little bit,” Public Relations manager of the BVH Esports club and senior Elijah Fincher said. 

Even though students at BVH play a wide variety of games, they are still able to connect with one another over the common interest of gaming. BVH students have been using Discord, which is a platform oriented towards gamers to call and chat with others. 

“Playing games with friends while on calls on Discord is a lot of fun and it makes it so that you can engage with friends while in quarantine,” Busk said. “I’ve spent a majority of my time during quarantine just playing games while on [a] call with friends. Even if we aren’t playing the same game, we still get to talk and have a good time.”

Although separated, BVH students have been able to come together to foster a community in which students can help each other get through quarantine through gaming.

“Video games have definitely helped people through these times by providing a community where people can enjoy these challenges together and create positive communities to help the influx of new players,” Oquendo said.