Lockdown Remedies Part 1
Updated: Apr 5
Right, I’m not the first person to say this, nor will I be the last, 2020 was difficult. There was; Covid-19, the Pandemic, Social Distancing, Lockdown 1, Lockdown 2 and 3. I believe it would also be wise to assume I’m not the first person to put down in words my various Lockdown Remedies, but here we are.
First off, let me state that I count myself extremely lucky. I’ve retained employment during Lockdown as I work in Retail (which comes with its challenges, but it has ensured I’ve had a wage since the start of the pandemic), I live in an area close to the New Forest and have thankfully not contracted the Virus. I am extremely lucky. So before I continue it is worth noting there have been many people whose livelihoods have been permanently affected during the last year or so, my heart goes out to them.
Despite being lucky to have lived through the Pandemic in the manner in which I have, Lockdowns 1, 2 & 3 haven’t been without their challenges. My beloved Cinemas have been shut, I haven’t been able to socialise with friends in a normal manner or holiday abroad. These are, without a shadow of a doubt, first world problems. I am acutely aware of that, but it takes a year like 2020 to realise we take these things for granted, and miss them when they’re gone.
As a result of this, I thought it would be prudent to jot down my various Lockdown Remedies. Remedies for boredom, replacing the activities I could no longer partake in, etc etc. I’ll do this a blog post at a time, with each post focussing on a different topic.
The topic in today's blog post is Video-gaming.
Or should I say, Video-gaming, but not as we know it?
Thank god for games consoles. I have spent many hours playing Fifa, Madden, NBA 2k on the Playstation 4. I am one of many millions that have turned to games consoles during the pandemic. Playstation 4’s and XBOX One’s have helped many through Lockdown. However, where my tale differs is that much of my Lockdown gaming hasn’t been spent on this outgoing generation of consoles, rather the previous generation on a Playstation 3.
There are three reasons as to why much of my gaming has been spent on the Playstation 3. Those reasons are called Josh, James and Will. Each one of them before the pandemic owned a PS3. Josh and James’ were collecting dust whilst they used their up to date PS4’s and Will was getting plenty of use out of his PS3 as it is his sole console. Now Josh, James, Will and I have one thing we all love and that is Motorsport. It is rare to find one friend who is passionate about motorsport, so the fact that there are four of us is a minor miracle. We have a motorsport themed group chat on Facebook Messenger, Instagram and Snapchat where we gab on about motorsport night and day. We think it is extremely cool, not sure what others think mind you. As a result of Lockdown 1, all four of us had our fix of Motorsport taken away from us, with the upcoming seasons of F1, MotoGP and many more all being postponed. It was at this point that Will offered a solution; we form a Motorsport Championship of our own in the virtual world. He proposed an Arcade Racing Game on his PS3 called Grid Autosport and I was very easily persuaded to purchase a second hand Playstation 3, this, in turn, persuaded James and Josh to get in on the action.
Once my Playstation 3 arrived we laid out our Championship structure; we would race in BTCC Spec Cars, on 18 Circuits, 3 races per circuit. We created Team Names, bespoke liveries and James put together a Championship Spreadsheet to track our points scoring. This spreadsheet then came with various other graphs and data tracking average points, no. of race wins, no. of fastest laps etc, etc. It was all very, very cool, from a certain point of view. We would even conduct press style interviews within our various group chats.
One of many Spreadsheets containing Vital Championship Data
As soon as we were ready to go, we would Race online simultaneously taking part in a Video Group Chat. 4 Championships later and we are still going. We’ve laughed, sworn, maybe not cried, but I’m sure a few of us have been close. Most of all, we have had an amazing time playing an outdated game on an outdated console. Well, I say outdated, the game was/is perfect, the visual quality substantial enough to support an enjoyable experience. The in-game content was/is thrilling, perhaps too thrilling at times when the AI-controlled vehicles go on the offensive. However, the games greatest asset was giving the four of us a source of entertainment and social interaction in a time where both have been difficult. For that, Video-Gaming with friends on an old console was the perfect Lockdown Remedy. Spreadsheets and graphs are optional.