A candle aflame with the words "Coronavirus, Hygge, and Gaming" above

Coronavirus, Hygge, and Gaming

Hey everyone! I just wanted to see how people are doing dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and provide a brief update on my experience so far. Sometimes, real-life gets in the way of our gaming fun. Unfortunately, right now, the ramifications of a global pandemic can make even gaming fraught with an undercurrent of anxiety. Nonetheless, I offer some thoughts and ideas about how to deal with this new reality.

How are YOU?

How are you doing? Are you feeling stressed? Doing well? I know for many people practicing shelter-in-place, as mandated by governments and local municipalities, life is different. Some folks are able to work at home, while others may not be able to and are losing income. I’m sure there is a broad spectrum of experiences out there. One thing’s for sure, this Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic of 2020 is a historic, world-wide event we will remember. Like 9/11, there will be the time before the pandemic and time after.

If you would like to share your thoughts and feelings or a story, please comment below.

Alternatively, you can do the same on the Emergent Mage Facebook group. I know there is not much there yet; we’ll build it up together. I’ll look for your group request.

As For Me

Personally, I do feel more anxious. I’m sure the seemingly, near-constant scrolling through Coronavirus news updates has not helped. I’m able to work from home, so that helps somewhat. Adapting to working from home has taken some getting used to. I do like the extra time saved from not having to commute though.

My wife and daughter made hand sanitizer as a school project. I texted my parents this weekend and checked in with my bandmates. Today, when my car battery died in a parking lot, a mechanic quickly stopped to charge it and was off again–without charging me (excuse the pun)—after we bumped elbows.

This is a time for us to be generous, helpful, and to take care of each other.

Dealing with Stress

I offer two ways to deal with any stress and/or anxiety you may be feeling at home right now. It’s what I’ve been doing to deal.


Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is a Danish concept of coziness, a sense of well-being. In Upstate New York where I live, winters can be a drag and we are inside most of the time. Finding peace with the winter season—the bitter cold, scraping the car windshield, snow-blowing the driveway—can be a challenge. The Danes have more experience and have found ways to find peace in wintertime. It consists of things like hot cocoa, warm blankets, candles, and warm bread. Look into it!


Based on the title of this article I’m sure you could have guessed this part. Sure, gaming is a good distraction to calm the nerves. What game in your Steam library is your comfort food, your worn sweatpants, your jam? Chances are you don’t need to scroll through your Steam library to find it; you immediately know the one. Make time in your schedule to sit down and focus on your game.

Better yet, couple your gaming with the concept of Hygge! Make some hot cocoa or tea, light a candle, and cover-up in a blanket. Think about how you might make your gaming session even better. Take your leisure seriously.

Both Humble Bundle and Paradox Interactive had fundraiser game deals to support organizations responding to the pandemic. I bet we will see other similar gaming deals and opportunities to help. Keep your eyes out.

Related Article: Smell More Than Roses in Scents & Semiosis
Emergent Mage recently reviewed the interactive fiction title, Scents & Semiosis. That game is perfect for relaxing and peacefully taking time for yourself. Check it out to learn more!

More Ideas

Here are more game-related ideas to pass quarantine-time stress-free.

  • Play a game in Story Mode for once
  • Curl up in bed and play your handheld of choice
  • Read the rules to that board game you’ve meant to play
  • Meditate with your paints and miniatures
  • Read some gaming blogs
  • Do some journaling about your gaming experiences

These are scary times. Stay home and stay safe, my friends.

What are your go-to comfort games? How do you make your gaming cozier? Please let me know in the comments below. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Ernest Scribner
Ernest Scribner

Practitioner of games. Caster of words. Shares game wisdom, stories, and shenanigans with fellow adventurers.

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