Being at home has given me a lot of extra time to try new things and do things I didn’t really have time to do before. Not all the things have been very positive or productive but hey, there’s a global pandemic going on, anything to keep me inside is a good thing.
Before lockdown started, I was gaming at a truly casual level: once in awhile, a day full of gaming but oftentimes, just an hour or so during the week. This has changed drastically in the past few months. It started back in March, I downloaded Warzone (part of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare game), which introduced me to the latest Call of Duty game and slowly I discovered that my friends and my siblings were playing it. This made the game a lot more interesting because I could be playing with other people (who can resist this during lockdown).
What started out as a simple way of chatting with friends and playing a video game turned into a nightmarish addiction. So bad that in July, I had to force myself to be away from my computer desk so I wouldn’t get triggered by my PS4 controller sitting right there. (I used the same monitor for my computers and my PS4)
I’m happy to report that August has been a huge improvement, I’ve only played starting on Friday evenings through the weekend (mainly skipping on Saturdays and then picking up on Sunday). And I’ve been good about staying away from it on the weekdays.
At the same time, I also haven’t touched any other games, it’s only been Call of Duty. Both Warzone and multiplayer are so well done that once I start playing, I can’t stop. The drug-like addiction is well built into these games.
During the past few years, I’ve been slowly increasing my total reading time on a daily average and total for the year. In 2017, I was mainly doing audiobooks but now in 2020, it’s a mix of both. When the COVID-19 lockdown started, I was in the middle of a few books and I was trudging through them, not making much progress but some time in June, this shifted. I started to listen to the audiobooks pretty consistently while cleaning and doing other chores around the house. And for sitting down and reading, I just find a couple of minutes here and there throughout the day, which ultimately adds up to a good chunk of time.
My main interest has been fiction books, mainly to find worlds away from our current one. The pandemic did push me to listen to the Station Eleven audiobook, not the best dystopian book but definitely a cool concept. I also started to move towards familiar authors like Terry Pratchett, Charles Bukowski, John Steinbeck, Brian Jacques, and JRR Tolkien.
I’m thinking of picking up the Harry Potter series as a comfort read next since I’ve seen the movies, listened to the audiobooks (if you haven’t checked ‘em out, I highly recommend them).
I didn’t want to separate YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc so this category sort of covers all that. YouTube has been a blessing and a curse in one. On the one hand, I can listen to relaxing background music and on the other, I can go down rabbit holes of various topics (my favorites being geography, history, and memes).
Netflix is sort of my umbrella term for any streaming services that offer TV series and movies. I’ve been watching the Studio Ghibli movies on HBO Max on the weekends and also just started watching Lovecraft Country. It’s hard to keep the traditional model of TV shows in my head nowadays but I also find it that I’m a big fan of the model, watching a series over an extended period such as a month or a couple of months helps me think more about the show, remember the characters better, and even come up with some conclusions that aren’t immediately apparent.