We’re capping off an odd week of coverage here in our little corner of the online gaming world, as even those of us who’ve been following coronavirus coverage obsessively since January didn’t entirely expect it to consume the digital landscape, but here we are. Let’s peek at some of the new developments relevant to MMO players.
Did it seem as if there were no more gaming or tech events left to cancel? Alas, we’ve not run out yet. EGX Rezzed in London is the latest to give up the ghost, omoving from its March 26-28 dates to an unknown summer do-over. MCM Birmingham has done the same, moving to late June.
While most MMO aren’t affected directly, save that their staff are primarily working from home, titles like Pokemon Go are a different sort of beast, as they require players to go out into the world, often with groups of people, to compete – something that’s not such a great idea right now when authorities are trying to mitigate the spread of a virus. Niantic, however, has plans to deal with that. The company’s told Polygon that it will be “prioritizing updates to Pokemon Go features and experiences that can be enjoyed in individual settings,” which seems to translate to making more habitats that people can access without leaving their homes, boosting the length of incense backs, making incubators hatch eggs twice as fast, and dropping gifts more frequently.
If – like my own husband and kids – you’re in a learning or teaching from home situation right now, you might be wondering how to go about it. We received several tips (thanks Celestia and Brad!) about people considering using everything from World of Warcraft to Twitch to teach their classes. No need to invent that wheel, however, as universities have been doing this for years already. Closest to home, there’s the Tolkien Professor, aka Dr Corey Olsen, who’s been offering free classes and lecturing from inside Lord of the Rings Online for the last three years through SignumU. We even interviewed Dr Olsen back in 2017.
— Signum University (@SignumU) March 13, 2020
Finally, MMO blogger Belghast put up a comforting post about turning to games in times of distress like this one. Please take care of yourselves, your families, and your communities.
More on the impact of the virus on gaming: