The PlayStation®5 is now out and lines of people already are showing up to pick up their pre-orders, but experts say they’re likely not just lining up to play video games only for fun.
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi associate professor for media studies David Gurney said video games were already an area of media and entertainment that has been growing for decades. But the pandemic has only spiked that demand.
"The fact that we are all spending more time at home, more time isolated and more time from social interaction,” Gurney said.
Video games have been a platform for people to connect with others even when they cannot be close, Gurney said. And with the pandemic, people who are not traditional gamers, including older adults, are recognizing the social value to video games.
"Without that, it's almost impossible to think how they would get through this pandemic with some level of socialization still happening,” Gurney said.
Scott Burgess of FX Game Exchange said there has been an increase in sales at game stores across the country.
"With everything changed, with everything different you have to spend more time at home," Burgess said. "It's harder to go out, you need something at home to keep you happy, comfortable, and entertained."
Gamer Rene Olivarez just picked up the new PlayStation®5. He said he's excited to get home and play the game.
"There really isn't much stuff to do and now there is no reason to go out," Olivarez said. "So, I was just playing games and working. There is nothing else to do ... might as well game it up.”