2020 - Pandemic Inspired Gaming

I will start with some of the lyrics to a song I love that taken in this context fit my current life experiences in a very creepy way.

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

I tend to have a rather dark sense of humor when I get stressed or struggling emotionally. Quite a bit happened recently to absorb mentally and emotionally with COVID-19 pandemic daily news, self-isolating to protect my wife with Multiple Sclerosis, supporting my university as it transitions to virtual course delivery and work from home, and encouraging my daughters as they had to adjust to home life quickly and begin taking virtual classes. So what does my mind do? It starts thinking about all the pandemic-based apocalyptic movies and games I have enjoyed over the years. Yep, my dark humor kicks in and I ponder how pandemics can be entertaining and thought provoking.

If this is too soon for you, then stop reading and close this blog post. Perhaps you can come back to it later, or not.

If you are still with me, then you and I can share our dark humor and discuss how this pandemic might inspire our gaming.

Beyond the news and our daily lives experiencing a pandemic, here are some movies you might want to consider viewing as further inspiration. I avoided the zombie movies that have an origin as a pandemic as those just didn’t fit what I am experiencing currently. Instead, my focus was on how the world reacts to a true biological threat. My wife and I recently watched Andromeda Strain again (purposely) as this pandemic was unfolding and it added quite the emotional punch to the experience. Each of these movies looks at the spread and impact of a pandemic from a different perspective and challenge you to consider the implications. If I had to narrow this list to one, then I would highly recommend The Seventh Seal.

If you enjoy board games and have these in your collection, then perhaps now is a good time for these games to hit your table to play with your family or housemates in isolation or perhaps even online.

For those with an itch to do some online roleplaying, then perhaps these apocalyptic rpgs available in PDF would interest you. Each could easily run a post pandemic apocalyptic campaign. Great way to support these publishers by purchasing their PDFs while our friendly local game stores are not open.

Apocalpyse World: Burned Over Hackbook Cover
Woman in the gas mask inside the rusty structure

Apocalypse World: Burned Over Hackbook

Pugmire RPG Cover


Mutant: Year Zero RPG Cover

Mutant: Year Zero

Mutant: Genlab Alpha RPG Cover

Mutant: Genlab Alpha

Has the pandemic and your self-isolation impacted your movie watching or gaming? What new games do you think we will see in the coming year that were inspired by our global experiences with COVID-19?

Too Soon? Pandemic Inspired Gaming

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