The WHO recommends these video games for people in isolation

By Olivia Richman


Mar 26, 2020

Reading time: 3 min

The coronavirus has disrupted a lot of esports tournaments and events, but it’s still had a positive impact on the esports and gaming industry as a whole. Streamers are seeing more views than ever before and games are getting downloaded and played at record-breaking rates. Now, some video games are also being labeled as good for gamers’ health while stuck inside during lockdown. 

The World Health Organization tweeted some advice this morning for people looking to stay active while isolating themselves at home. Activities deemed safe and healthy by the WHO include online exercise classes, dancing, balance training, and “playing active video games.”

This may come as a surprise to some folks, since WHO officially labeled video game addiction as a mental health issue quite recently. 

So what are some active video games you can play while stuck inside? Here’s a few you might want to consider if you can get your hands on them. 

Arms, Nintendo Switch

Now is the perfect time to download Arms for the Nintendo Switch. Earlier this morning, a yet-to-be-revealed Arms fighter was announced as the first character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s second fighter pass. To celebrate, Nintendo has made Arms free for the next few weeks. 

Arms is a unique fighting game because it depends on the player’s movements. Get more out of it by standing up while playing. Instead of just moving one’s arms to punch, players can put their whole body into it. Dodge by sliding to one side and stretching to that side. Even better, gamers can play with a friend, either online or at home. 

Just Dance, all consoles

Just Dance is likely the most accessible console title on this list, as it is available on Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and even the original Nintendo Wii. Just Dance is the perfect way to get in some physical activity while stuck inside. Learn some fun dance moves set to over 500 songs with Just Dance Unlimited. Those that pick it up are sure to break a sweat with some of the faster pop tunes included in the game. 

Pokemon GO, mobile

Live in a less populated area or know of a park where there won’t be crowds? Pokemon GO is a great reason to get moving. Adding up miles rewards players with Pokeballs and other items, and also helps to hatch eggs. Check out where Pokemon are hiding out and get moving. Players can even pick out a Pokemon Buddy to walk with to keep them company while they’re in isolation. 

Wii Sports, Wii

Dust off that old Nintendo Wii, folks. Wii Sports may be a retirement home favorite, but people of all ages can enjoy this classic and burn a few calories as a result. Enjoy some tennis, baseball, bowling, golf, and boxing. Players that get back into Wii Sports might even one day be able to compete in the esports category of the Olympics

Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games: Tokyo 2020, Nintendo Switch

Speaking of the Olympics, even though the 2020 Games are cancelled, that’s not stopping Mario, Sonic, and their supporting casts from having their own Olympics-style event. Players can get up and take on opponents in boxing, soccer, swimming, gymnastics, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing. While the game can be played sitting down, it’ll be easier to work up a sweat by standing and putting one’s whole body into it. Instead of just pumping the JoyCons to beat Yoshi at the final stretch of the 100 yard dash, why not run in place, too? 

Superhot VR, PlaySation, PC

Players can challenge their minds and bodies with Superhot VR, a game where players can slow time and plan out how to pull off action movie-style gunfights They’ll face a variety of scenarios where they need to figure out the best way to take out bad guys, which weapons to grab from them, and where to turn next. Players won’t necessarily work up a huge sweat with this one, but it’s still better for one’s health than staying in place. 

Beat Saber, Oculus Quest, PlayStation, PC

This one can take the wind right out of gamers that are new to the game. Beat Saber is a rhythm game that gives players dual light sabers that they use to break boxes that fly at them in synch with music. Gamers can sweat off that frozen meal with a few tracks in expert mode, no problem. 


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