10 Alternatives To Gaming During Quarantine

Are you bored yet? A couple of weeks of COVID quarantine sounded like a great way to catch up on some of your gaming backlogs, at least until stay at home orders became a reality and businesses started closing left and right. Now, after just a few weeks of ‘nothing to do’ and the realization that this isn’t going to end tomorrow, that game list is already starting to look a lot less inviting. Too much of a good thing is never really good, so when you get bored of gaming put down your mouse or controller and check out our 10 alternatives to gaming during the quarantine.

1. Switch Your Twitch

You probably have a long list of streamers you enjoy watching but, with free time at a little less of a premium, now is the perfect time to broaden your horizons and check out some streamers you don’t usually watch. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Bob Ross – Catch some positive vibes as you watch the greatest PBS painter who ever lived. The channel runs marathons every weekend starting at 12:30 ET every Friday.
  • Lara6683 – Lara is an amazing musician from Down Under. Watch as she learns new songs in minutes or plays video game music from across the ages.
  • MiltonTPike1 – Milton can be found every weekday creating mayhem in GTA RP while telling insanely funny stories to his chat. 

2. Play Some Board Games With Friends

Here’s another way to still get some social interaction. Even though you can’t meet up for game night over at Brad’s house, there’s nothing stopping you from getting everyone together online for a play session. You can find just about any game online – classic board games, strategy games, and even pen and paper games like D&D have a presence online. Here are a few places to get you started:

Board games – Gamespot just listed a bunch of great board games to play online including two of my favorites in Ticket To Ride and Settlers of Catan. If your favorite didn’t make their list chances are a quick search will pull it up.

D&D – Both Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds are great apps to get grouped up with friends (or strangers even) online for D&D as well as other role-playing games. 

3. Read A Book

When was the last time you read a book? You know. those little rectangular things containing page after page of words. If your answer is, “I don’t know” then take advantage of the quiet time of isolation to get in a good read. Video games these days have beautiful graphics but I bet your imagination can render better images than any video card can. It won’t hurt, I promise.

4. Find A New Podcast

If you’re missing the sound of other people around you, why not turn on a podcast and listen away? With podcast apps available for your mobile device (We Edit Podcasts has 27 good choices) or directly on your PC (Windows Central has a great list) there has to be an app that works for you. And if listening to other people talk isn’t enough to keep you engaged, go ahead and talk back (or scream) to the hosts like they are in the room with you. I guarantee they can hear you.

5. Binge some movies or TV Shows

I spent a lot of free time last week playing the new Delerium league in Path of the Exile. On Friday I was ready for a quick break so I decided to watch an episode of the new season of Ozark on Netflix. 5 hours later I was halfway through the season and by Sunday afternoon I was done with all 10 episodes. And did you know you can keep your social distance and still watch Netflix with friends?

6. Watch a TED talk

Why not use some of the free time on your hands to watch a TED Talk or two? With over 3000 talks covering hundreds of topics from entertainment to science, and everything in between, there is surely something to pique your interest. Who doesn’t want to show back up to work with some tidbit of knowledge that will leave your peers thinking, “Where the hell did they come up with that?”

7. Learn A New Language

Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Python, Java. Whether human or computer, learning a new language can be a daunting task, but there are plenty of aids out there to help you on your way, many of them free. Duolingo and Babble are worth checking out if you want to speak a new language and there are also plenty of options to learn to code. You can start to learn the basics in just minutes a day, so why not give it a go?

8. Head Down The Rabbit Hole

Have you ever needed to Google something for a project only to look over at the clock and realize you ended up looking at cat photos for two hours? Now’s your chance to dive down the internet rabbit hole without all the guilt. So pull up Google, YouTube, or any other social media app, pick something that interests you and see where it leads. 

9. Check Out Some Notpron

Speaking of rabbit holes, Notpron is an online puzzle that will have you searching across the internet as you try to solve its riddles. Surfacing all the way back in 2004, each of the 140 levels of Notpron has one simple goal – figure out either a username/password combo or a URL that will get you to the next level. Only a handful of players have ever completed all 140 levels without using spoilers. Will you be the next?

10. Run A Marathon (Or A Little Less)

A lot of you have probably found a way to take your usual gym routine and convert it into something you could do at home. Others, myself included, have gone a different route and neglected exercise altogether. If you find yourself in the second category then now is the time to get back on track by running a marathon. No? Maybe pick a shorter distance? With live events canceled many organizers have switched to a virtual race that can be completed at your leisure (sort of an oxymoron there). Check out your local event’s website to see if a race is going virtual, try out a dedicated site like Virtual Run Events or Goneforarun, or check out your favorite fitness app to see if it has challenges you can sign up for. In short, put down that controller, get off your butt, and get some exercise!

Written by
Old enough to have played retro games when they were still cutting edge, Mitch has been a gamer since the 70s. As his game-fu fades (did he ever really have any?), it is replaced with ever-stronger, and stranger, opinions. If that isn't the perfect recipe for a game reviewer, what is?

1 Comment

  1. I like my variant on #3… “Read some comics or graphic novels” 🙂

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