Playing video games is social distancing, data usage shows

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COLUMBUS (WCMH)–No school, no dining out, no movie theaters. You are stuck. You finished working from home hours ago. Your kids completed the online coursework before noon, and now you’re considering what to do. Sure, you could whip out a board game like Monopoly, Chutes and Ladders, or even the classic of checkers.

The problem is the phonetic sound of board translates to the youth of today as bored.

According to Verizon Wireless, people at home are staying away from “bored games” and finding amusement online. In a news release, the company explained that during peak usage hours that gaming was up by 75% week over week. Not a surprise was virtual private network use was up 34% because of social distancing and working from home. What did seem interesting is that social media use was flat.

Data use up since social distancing began

of Data
Week Over
Week Increase
Web Traffic20%
Social Media0% flat

“As we see more and more individuals work from home and students engage in online learning, it is a natural byproduct that we would see an increase in web traffic and access to Virtual Private Network. As more entertainment options are cancelled in communities across the US, an increase in video traffic and online gaming is not surprising,” said Kyle Malady, Chief Technology Officer for Verizon said in the online release. “We expect these peak hour percentages to fluctuate, so our engineers are continuing to closely monitor network usage patterns 24×7 and stand ready to adjust resources as changing demands arise.”

Since you are working from home, you and your children already have the technical prowess of understanding the internet. The use is up 75% since “social distancing” began. While your kids probably play strategy games like Fortnite, Call of Duty, Modern Warfare. Sure, while these may be may more complicated than you want to attempt, there are some popular options waiting for you. ‘s top five games are:

  1. Overwatch
  2. Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
  3. League of Legends
  4. Warframe
  5. Fortnite ‘s top five PC games are:

1 League of Legends
2 Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Siege
3 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
4 Minecraft

Of course there are hundreds of versions of the card games from Uno, solitare, and poker. My three teenage sons (and so do I) play a lot of Apex Legends and Fortnite.

While there are not any athletic competitions for you to pass the time, and you do not want to learn the intricacies of learning keyboard shortcuts, or memorizing the multiple buttons on an XBox or Playstation controller, you can watch other people play. On platforms like, Youtube, Facebook, and even Twitter.

According to, League of Legends is the most played on

  1. League of Legends
  2. Just Chatting
  3. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
  4. Fortnite
  5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

The most watched streamers on Twitch during the past seven days:

  1. summit1g
  2. DrDisrespect
  3. loltyler1
  5. BeyondTheSummit

I talked with professional streamers while they played Fortnite live on Facebook on Wednesday afternoon.

Mzkrissy said minecraft is a great way for parents to get started with their parents.

RampRushed said Fortnite, “It’s kind of cartoony, can play split screen on consol, or mobile.”

On a personal note, I play Fortnite with my kids, but they play a lot of other games like Apex Legends, Mario, and Minecraft. Really, find something that interests you and give it a try.

Professionals, yes they actually earn a living playing games online, have streams where you can interact with them while they play. Be sure to pay attention to whether it is a “dark mode” or a “light mode.”

Dark Mode may contain adult language with other adults playing and watching. A light mode could be the same streamer, but he or she knows that children are present and they know not to curse while playing. This can be fun considering they often let their children play with them while broadcasting.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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