Into the Virtual Worlds: A Look-back on Three of 2020's Top Gaming Trends

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No one saw it coming -- the COVID-19 Pandemic caught all of us off-guard as it invades and stifles the norms of our society. The restriction of face-to-face interactions imposed by the government is our main advantage to decrease the rate at which the virus is spreading, long before a vaccine is widely distributed around the globe. As we spend our time in isolation during quarantine, society has found a way to stay connected all the while being completely socially-distant thanks to these games reaching a peak in 2020.


Among Us: A Game of Trust and Betrayal


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First off the list is the online multiplayer game Among Us. Developed by InnerSloth, Among Us became a huge hit in 2020 with a whopping 500 million player base worldwide. The thrill the game brings is one of its most distinctive features. The game revolves around the crewmates and their goal to finish the tasks distributed across the map. But the exciting twist is the existence of impostors within the group whose tasks are to sabotage and kill the crewmates one by one. The game is best experienced when played with friends on a customized game, but it also allows you to play with the world with its public game rooms. 


The gaming community also plays a huge part in the continuously positive reviews Among Us is receiving. Popular streamers like Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie), Mark Fischbach (Markiplier), and Seán William McLoughlin (Jacksepticeye) enjoy the game as well. Among Us also introduced the general public to streamers like Rachell Hofstetter (Valkyrae), Sykkuno, and Corpse Husband, making the Among Us community a fast-growing gaming trend.


Minecraft: A Virtual World For Virtual Hangouts


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Although already widely-known and played pre-pandemic, Minecraft became a huge part of gaming during the quarantine. With over 600 million players in 2020, the game is an all-time blockbuster (no pun intended) in the gaming community. Currently owned by Markus Persson, the game boasts its unique gameplay of creating and breaking apart of different blocks inside a virtual world. The game has two main modes: the Survival and Creative modes. 

Survival mode revolves around the character's ability to survive inside the virtual world while hunting or farming food, the player is also tasked to build a house to stay safe against dangerous creatures roaming the place like giant spiders and walking skeletons (with bow and arrows!). On the other hand, creative mode is a more relaxed version of the game without the threats of dying and danger.

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Minecraft is the perfect game to play when catching up with friends while staying at home as the game also allows multiplayer interactions. The game is also known for its 'parkour' maps which are popular to stream. Some of the most renowned Minecraft streamers include Dream, GeorgeNotFound, and Tommyinnit.


Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Create an Island of Your Own!


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All set for an island adventure? Don't fret, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the game to play. After its release on March 20, 2020, the game started to gain popularity with its cute and trendy gameplay. Developed by Nintendo, New Horizons is the fifth main Animal Crossing game to be released. It is a life simulation game of exploring an island paradise and making it your own. 

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Complete with all sorts of decorations and customizations, the game is a huge hit for Nintendo Switch players. And the best part is that you get to be friends with cute anthropomorphic animals! You can also invite friends to visit your island and of course, visit their island -- all in real-time.


Gaming in 2021: What to Expect?

Of course, 2020 still has a lot of games worthy to be included on our list, but as the New Year begins, we expect to see more fun and exciting games that would bring some sort of peace of mind as we continue to stay inside our house. Gaming in 2020 has helped a lot of people to cope with the strangeness of what's happening in the world, and we are expecting that it would do the same thing in 2021. 
                    
Image source: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/covid-19-taking-gaming-and-esports-next-level/


Several developers like Blizzard, Turtle Rock Studios, and Sony are teasing their much-anticipated projects to be released this year. This serves as a beacon of hope and optimism to remain as excited as always while waiting for up-and-coming gaming trends. 2020 may be a bad year, but with a help of a little gaming and an occasional glimpse at different virtual worlds, we got to survive the monotony of quarantine. Consoles ready, gamers! 2021 has a lot in store for us.



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