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#PlayApartTogether: Embracing lockdowns and social distancing

Stuck indoors? Well, time to play video games.

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Video games have always been a great way to pass time on any boring day at home. In any normal circumstance, you just need your healthy amount of online play each day before doing anything else. But obviously, you’d rather be out of the house and embracing the outside world with all your errands and meetups. A perfect balance, as all things should be.

And then, the entire world was hit with a virus that you could contract by touching anything. Your home country restricted travel to your dream destination for fear of contracting the virus. Furthermore, you can’t even leave your own home without putting yourself in danger of contracting it too.

Suddenly: classes are suspended, people are now on work-from-home arrangements, malls are closed. Next thing you know, the entire metro is under quarantine and you are forced to stay indoors unless you absolutely need to be outside.

When the coronavirus stepped in to plague the outside world, all you could do was wait. And in waiting for this virus to be handled, you’re looking for something to do to pass the time. All while getting some interaction with your friends who are also stuck indoors. Luckily, if Zoom meetings are not enough, the World Health Organization suggests something even I thought was unthinkable:

Play Apart, Together

In essence, the World Health Organization wants everyone to find something to pass the time while you’re indoors. Because of the ongoing threat of COVID-19, the WHO backs an initiative from the gaming industry to #PlayApartTogether. The purpose of this initiative was to encourage people to play video games while practicing social distancing to slow the spread of the virus. When I first heard about this, I thought, “wait, really? The WHO wants us to play video games now?”

That’s because a year ago, the WHO had deemed video gaming addiction as a mental disorder. They deemed people who are addicted to video games as people who can’t control how long they play, that it takes over their life completely. A lot of people older than most millennials think that playing video games is just a waste of time — when you can just play basketball outdoors instead of NBA 2K20. It makes sense, but it’s an extreme way of looking at it considering you can count the number of news reports citing video game-related casualties.

But because the world is experiencing a pandemic of epic proportions, they suggest that it’s one good way to pass the time. So how have people dealt with lockdowns and social distancing through video games?

Tom Nook has had a field day since launch

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released last March 20 for the Nintendo Switch. Even before the world plunged into the COVID-19 madness, the game already received a ton of buzz before its launch date. As soon as the game dropped, people went crazy and started buying it online (at least for people in countries already under lockdown) and started groundwork on their lovely islands.

It didn’t take long before people start to craft amazing houses, beautiful island landscapes, and catching sharks. Yes, you read that right: SHARKS; you can catch sharks in the game.

(c) Nintendo

What made it extra special was how people and used the game to interact with their friends and customers alike. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen people post in-game tributes of their loved ones and idols who have passed away.

Others used the game’s online features to visit their friends’ islands and engaging in many activities like watching the meteor shower. If that wasn’t enough, we even had the Ayala Museum and 100 Thieves drop designs for apparel for everyone to use for free.

TWICE RUN 20X20 Navy Blue – Dahyun

I even got to the point of replicating some TWICE and BTS merchandise as designs for my sweaters and hoodies. This game opened its doors to an audience for all ages, bringing the world closer than ever. That is, of course if you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to do all of these.

Sports at a standstill? Not on 2K’s watch

When Utah Jazz center and reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, things weren’t the same. At that moment in time, the NBA had already suspended the games scheduled for that day, provided that the game didn’t tip-off yet. It then escalated into talks of suspending the NBA season indefinitely or possibly cancelling it all together.

Several other major sports leagues in the United States, and even across the world decided to suspend tournaments. Sports was at a standstill, and the void must be filled in somehow.

And then, the Phoenix Suns decided to simulate their postponed games on NBA 2K20. Obviously, these were far from how the actual players played for their teams, but everybody was having fun with it.

It came to a point that NBA 2K decided to host a Players-Only Tournament as a way to generate donations for a charity of their choosing. Other than that, they even decided to simulate the remaining games and provide scores at the end of each playing day.

You know what they say, “ball is life.”


As general rules, the CDC or The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention listed these to help with preventing the spread of COVID-19:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces

Accessories

Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro Review: Better than AirPods Pro?

Finally, real Active Noise Cancellation out of the box

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Samsung has unveiled the newest Galaxy Buds Pro alongside the announcement of the latest Galaxy S21 series.

Other than the new design, better sound quality, and surround sound setup, there’s now a real and intelligent Active Noise Cancellation.

But do these earbuds live up to its ‘Pro’ branding? Watch our Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro review by clicking the video link right here.

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Samsung Galaxy S21 Series Hands-on

Most of the leaks were true after all

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Samsung started 2021 early with their newest Galaxy S21 series.

Unlike last year where the S20 models were announced last February, these new S21 units were unveiled as early as January 2021. Although we’ve covered most of the leaks and rumors about Samsung’s latest flagship trio, we still need to confirm them.

Head over to our latest hands-on video to find out more.

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Hands-On

ASUS ZenBook Duo (2021) Unboxing and Hands-on: Double The Fun!

Is it still the laptop of tomorrow?

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ASUS launched their first first dual-screen laptop, the ZenBook Pro Duo last 2019 at Computex Taiwan.

This 2021, the Full HD LCD display might be a drawback from the 4K OLED display. Still, it has a new and improved ErgoLift Hinge that ASUS is proud of. And with power-packed specs, pen support, and dual displays, this laptop might just be for a creative or content creator like you.

More of ASUS’ latest ZenBook Duo in our latest unboxing and hands-on video right here.

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