Digitalk: Making the most of lockdown

Ross Tibbles
Ross Tibbles

Not to keep hammering home how frustrating the current situation is, but please stick to the rules and stay home!

Being at home doesn’t have to be a prison though!

There are so many streaming services that have opened their premium services for free to encourage people to stay home and to make their stay better along with the many forms of entertainment available. As I speak, CrunchyRoll, the leading streaming service of anime has made their service free, heavy on adverts, but free none the less.

There’s also the usual Prime Video from Amazon. If you pay for Amazon Prime you get Prime Video for free with it! Its basically Amazon’s own version of Netflix but has many ‘exclusive to Prime’ shows and films on there. So you may have access to this great service without even realising it! A lot of the content on Prime video is free, but you’ll find a lot of the popular or more recently released movies will need to be purchased for a small fee.

Another perk of Amazon Prime is Twitch Prime. Twitch is a streaming platform that hosts people live-streaming basically anything you can think to film. You wanna see an artist create a masterpiece? Go to Twitch. You want to see musicians create music and write songs live? Go to Twitch. Want to buy a game but want to see if its any good first? Watch someone play it on Twitch first.

Twitch Prime allows you to watch Twitch without any adverts except the mandatory one you get as you join a channel. It also allows you to subscribe for free to one streamer per month, which supports them creating the content you are watching.

Speaking of gaming, now of all times Humble Bundle is even more amazing than it already is. You get a pack of games for a small fee and it goes to support charity! Currently they have a Capcom bundle on where you pay anything and get two games and two downloadable content expansions for other games from Capcom, pay more than £9 and it gives you six more games! That’s a lot of entertainment for a very small amount! And it goes to a good cause!

And let’s not forget Steam! Steam is the biggest online gaming store out there. They have an insane selection. I highly recommend going to the sales and selecting games under £4. You can find some real gems in there, from new indie developer games, to old blockbuster titles from years ago going for a great price.

Currently you can get some amazing classic old titles like Doom 2, most of the old Tomb Raiders and Quake 2. Classics from gaming heritage that I recommend everyone try out.

The point is that there is a wealth of content and games out there to watch and play to pass away the time we have to spend indoors. But there’s also other ways to use this online content!

Use the insane amount of knowledge on YouTube to learn a new hobby or skill, there are tutorials on how to do anything! From woodwork to crochet, drawing to martial arts. You can learn how to do anything online.

There are also many channels that have made their premium content free during this crisis. For example, the Fitness Coach Joe Wicks has started doing a FREE daily kids workout session every morning live at 9.30am to help kids (and parents if they want to join in) be active every day during quarantine.

You could also use the time to learn a new language! I’m currently using Duolingo to learn Spanish to be able to talk to my friends in Barcelona easier. It’s free and super rewarding. And fascinating to see what English has borrowed from other languages.

Missing your friends and loved ones? There’s so many ways to keep in touch while not leaving your home. While I don’t normally promote social media, at this time it’s incredibly powerful in keeping up with your friends and family and their quarantine shenanigans.

You can also use services like FaceTime and Skype to video call your friends and family and keep in touch. You can even call multiple people at a time. Schools and universities have been using Skype video calls to do online seminars to keep people up to speed on their courses.

Essentially, try not to think of quarantine as a prison sentence. Think of it more as an opportunity to try something new, or to catch up on that show you keep missing. With the right mindset this can be fun not a fuss.

Stay safe and have fun!

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