ABOVE: Patrick Ross, professor of biology, poses in his home with his current favorite board game, Gloomhaven. Gloomhaven is a cooperative board game that involves world exploration, dungeon crawling, and decision based role-playing elements. These decisions determine how the story continues, similar to a “Choose Your Own Adventure” book.
By Taylor Rodriguez
Hours of Netflix watched, countless days of napping, and too little time spent interacting with others.
These last few weeks of being at home have reasonably started to annoy a lot of people afflicted with boredom and stress.
With very little face-to-face interaction, people are becoming restless. However, some people have figured out how to battle that by playing games.
Patrick Ross, professor of biology, has found a few ways to stop the creep of boredom that being cooped up can cause.
He normally goes on a walk every day with his dog Kirby to stay active and get out of the house.
Like many other professors, Ross has had to switch his teaching methods to match a remote teaching style.
Ross said, “It seems like you are hearing all these complaints from people across the country saying ‘Oh, I don’t know what to do, I’ve run out of shows to watch on Netflix, and blah,’ and changing what I’ve been doing to an online format for my students is keeping me busy.”
While figuring out the flow of things, Ross has managed to make the best of this situation for himself and his students.
“I’ve been trying to goof off with the students a bit. In addition to my classes, I’m getting together with a bunch of them once or twice a week to play games over Zoom. Fun party games like Biology Pictionary, Biology Family Feud,” said Ross.
Kara Gregory, biology junior, has also taken part in some of these games with Ross and other students.
Gregory has been stuck at her home in Oklahoma since the end of spring break in March. In that time, she has left the house only once to go to a drive-through.
Like many others, Gregory has experienced this boredom of being stuck inside. Likewise to Ross, she has used games to ease that boredom.
“I’m so bored. The games have really helped and I’m trying to keep in touch with everyone through zoom. We’ve been playing a few games through Zoom too,” said Gregory.
Not everyone, however, has felt the creep of boredom as they are stuck at home. Leo Enciso, pre-engineering freshman, has already turned to games to cure his boredom.
“If I didn’t have any homework, this quarantine wouldn’t be nothing. I would be all day, every day, playing games non-stop. If you play one game, people say ‘Oh, well you’ll get bored of video games.’ Just switch the game,” said Enciso.
Enciso has been playing video games online with his friends and board games with his family during the quarantine.
Gregory has also managed to alleviate her boredom and stress with video games.
“I got a Switch recently, so I’ve been playing Animal Crossing a lot. I grew up with it too, so I had to get the new game. I mostly play that because it’s, like, cute and happy and kinda relaxing to play. It gives me a routine that I don’t have now. That’s something I’m struggling with is finding routines to keep.”
Since Gregory is unable to work, her extra time has been divided into managing her boredom with games while also taking care of her education.
Ross understands the stress of this outbreak more than most probably would.
Although he is the professor of biology, he also happens to be the advisor for the Gaming Club at SC.
“That’s one of the most frustrating things about this, is that one of my biggest pass times is face-to-face tabletop gaming,” said Ross.
In light of this, new online gaming opportunities have presented themselves for Ross.
“I am trying to find ways to use online resources to play some of these games remotely. There are two things out there. One is called Tabletopia and the other is Tabletop Simulator. I’m working on touching base with some of my friends to do boardgames that way,” said Ross.
Enciso has plenty of experience playing games online with his friends.
However, his experience is in a competitive setting versus a casual one. Even that can get tiresome, and Enciso suggested switching it up by playing something like Uno with your friends.
“Once you start playing a lot of competitive games like Overwatch and Warzone you get tired. When you play Uno with your friends it’s just relaxing and chill. Uno is an easy way to socialize with your friends,” said Enciso.
As the outbreak goes on, people find ways to preoccupy themselves.
Games can provide a fun experience and relieve stress if you truly have nothing else to do.
Below is a list of games these three suggested others should look into getting to keep themselves busy.
1. Tabletop Simulator
3. Animal Crossing: New Horizons
5. Untitled Goose Game
2. Settlers of Catan
Taylor reported on this topic from his apartment in Winfield, Kansas.