Anna wasn’t the only one who felt that way. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Americans have spent more time and money on video games than ever before. In the last year, the number of people playing NBA 2K20 nearly doubled, and Call of Duty: Warzone went from having 30 million to 75 million players. One weekend last September, Among Us had nearly 4 million people playing at once.
Is all that gaming bad for us? Parents often worry that their kids will get hooked on video games and lose interest in sports, school, and friends. However, for kids like Anna, gaming wasn’t an addiction or a waste of time. Instead, it was a way to feel less isolated.
Understanding that experience may be changing the way adults think about gaming. “A lot of parents are finally seeing the benefits,” says Jordan Shapiro, an expert who studies screen time. “They’re seeing how rich it is, how social it is.”