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Players host weddings, classes, more in online games during COVID-19 crisis

Players host weddings, classes, more in online games during COVID-19 crisis

March 27, 2020 | By Bryant Francis

Here's another high-water mark of the strange times we're in; CNN has documented how a number of players are moving real-life events and celebrations into an unexpected venue: video games. 

In the piece, Shannon Liao speaks with a number of players dealing with the cancellation of planned weddings, graduation ceremonies, and schools who've briefly adapted by spending that time online together. What's notable about the behavior that Liao writes about is that players are taking these events into games that weren't strictly designed to host them in the first place. 

While a wedding ceremony in Animal Crossing may be an expected event, Liao's interviewees include a group of players hosting a graduation ceremony for their friend in Apex Legends, and a math teacher who discovered a functional whiteboard in Half Life: Alyx, and recorded a full lesson using it. 

The success of these events highlights that for the time being, online games of all shape and size will be the only social space some players have access to. This may be an opportunity for developers to explore new kinds of updates to support these improvised spaces, or study how players adapt their behavior in these turbulent times. 

For another cute example of players moving social events online, see this surprise birthday party thrown by Jackie Lee in Animal Crossing. 

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