If you're unlucky enough to be quarantined because of Influenza A(H1N1), commonly referred to in the media as "Swine flu", trying to find ways to pass the time without wrecking yourself might seem a bit elusive. Since some of us, here at Massively, are stuck in quarantine right now ourselves, it seems only fitting that we try to pass on a few useful tips.
Obviously, you're already reading Massively, so we don't need to recommend that. Since you can't infect others online, gaming seems like a great option, but there are some things you'll want to watch out for, because the last thing you want is to make things worse for yourself.
Concentration is going to be hard at times, and coughing fits and other physical issues are going to interrupt you – perhaps frequently – so you're probably going to have to skip those juicy raids, stay out of groups and concentrate on solo-friendly games that aren't too physically or mentally demanding. Go casual.
If your husband, partner or teenage kid is likewise stuck, now's a great time to convince them to go questing with you. Odds are you can cover each-other's backs, and if you fold up coughing or sneezing, your husband's handy to keep the goblins off of you. If either of you needs to take a break every few minutes (and the odds are that you probably will) then that's not the problem that it would otherwise be with a regular group or PUG.
The more casual the better. Now's a great time to nose around looking for Wilderness Rares or Collections in Free Realms. If you need to rope your partner in, opt for something free-to-play. Being sick doesn't bring in income, and can get expensive. Shelling out for another subscription isn't such a good idea under those circumstances. Don't overlook the benefits of an MMOG with a free-trial period, though. Now's a decent opportunity to try something new, and you can tackle tutorials in your own time.
Avoid anything vertiginous. Anything that gives you the dizzies, or where the camera motion makes your stomach flop should be avoided. The last thing you need is to have to replace your keyboard because your insides came outside. Likewise be extra careful with fluids and food (assuming you can even eat). If you destroy your peripherals, quarantine prevents you from going out to get replacements.
Don't overdo things. Take a five minute break every 15-20 minutes or so, then decide if you feel up to continuing. If you're having trouble with the controls or remembering your quest objectives, log out and go soak an audio-book for a little while, and come back when you feel a bit better. Like any influenza you should take it easy.
But that's no reason you can't get a little gaming in. Look after yourselves and get well soon!
Here's a handy (partial) list of pay-for games with free trial periods:
- Age of Conan
- Asheron's Call
- City of Heroes/Villains
- Dark Age of Camelot
- D&D Online
- EVE Online
- Everquest II
- Lord of the Rings Online
- Pirates of the Burning Sea
- Star Wars Galaxies
- Warhammer Online
- World of Warcraft