Bored and Quarantined: Podcasts & Video Games to Binge While You Practice Social Isolation

Bored and Quarantined

Convention cancelled and you suddenly find yourself with a free weekend? Classes moved to online only and you’ve got a little extra time during the day? Or are you voluntarily practicing social isolation and doing your part to flatten the curve? Whatever the reason, we at The Geekiary have compiled a list of binge-worthy media to get you through this pandemic! Next up: podcasts and video games.

Listen, going out to the movies or shopping is not being brave in the face of danger. It’s being socially irresponsible. This is probably the one chance in your lifetime to stay at home and play video games all day without being judged for it. So, take advantage of that fact by checking out one of our many, many recommendations while you’re bored and quarantined.

PODCASTS

TITLE: Girl in Space
RECOMMENDED BY: Kate Harper
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: This is a brilliant audio drama with the first season already complete so you can binge straight through. It’s about a girl who lives on a dying spaceship, and she records herself talking on a little tape recorder as her ship is boarded by an evil corporation. This is the audio we hear, and it’s brilliantly edited and incredibly gripping. The main character is confirmed as asexual, and I don’t think she’s the only queer person in the cast. I can’t recommend it more.

TITLE: This Podcast Will Kill You
RECOMMENDED BY: Angel
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: I’ve been a fan of this disease-focused podcast long before COVID-19 was a thing. They manage to deliver factual information in an entertaining way, which is always enormously helpful. Their Coronavirus episode, M-m-m-my Coronavirus, may feel like an intuitive place to start given our current situation, but I truly recommend starting from the beginning with the Influenza episode.

TITLE: Casefile
RECOMMENDED BY: Angel
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Surely you know that there’s an entire subculture surrounding true crime podcasts out there. Well, this is one of the BEST. If you want to dip your toe into the world of true crime podcasts, this is a great entry point. It’s factual, straight forward, and light on the editorialization. Feel free to start anywhere if a specific case strikes your fancy, but starting at the beginning isn’t a bad idea either.

TITLE: Passenger List
RECOMMENDED BY: Em Rowntree
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Twistier than a game of Twister, Passenger List is a mystery podcast that’s eight episodes long so far. The cast is stellar, featuring Kelly Marie Tran and Colin Morgan, as well as Rob Benedict (a name Supernatural fans will definitely recognize). The podcast is told as a series of audio recordings made by the main character, including her phone calls and some interviews, as she tries to find her missing brother. There’s some queer representation in the story (no spoilers, I’ll leave it at that). Each episode manages to make you completely rethink every theory you’d been sure of just a moment before, and though the story hinges on a missing plane, a potential global epidemic does feature as a plot point – right now, it only makes the podcast feel more real.

TITLE: The Adventure Zone
RECOMMENDED BY: Em Rowntree
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: Although the second and third seasons of the tabletop role-playing game podcast The Adventure Zone have taken their fair share of criticism in comparison with the first season, Balance, they still absolutely deserve a listen and now is a perfect time. With the second season all finished up, it’s just begging to be binged – and the third season, Graduation, is still finding its feet but there’s enough there to marathon the first several episodes. And if you’ve never dived into TAZ, the Balance arc is one of my all-time favorite stories, and I’d never played Dungeons & Dragons before starting to listen. It’s enjoyable no matter how much D&D you know. In fact, you know what? Even if you have heard it before, be good to yourself. Give it a relisten.

TITLE: Wooden Overcoats
RECOMMENDED BY: Em Rowntree
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: If you deal with tough times like these through morbid humor and/or puns, this is the podcast for you. Set on the fictional island of Piffling Vale, Wooden Overcoats is the story of two rival funeral directors and their attempts to drive each other out of business. The show’s two main women characters, Antigone and Georgie, are two of my favorite women characters in recent fiction. The show is mostly light-hearted in tone, with some touching moments of unexpected depth. There is queer representation in the podcast, and there are also some shippable moments that fanfic writers have loved. With a new season promised, this is a great time to catch up with the three seasons and bonus episodes available right now.

VIDEO GAMES

TITLE: Red Dead Redemption 2
RECOMMENDED BY: Tara
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: This prequel game to Rockstar’s 2010 Red Dead Redemption was everything I wanted and more. Gorgeous graphics, hundreds of hours worth of side missions and tasks, better character building than most TV shows or movies these days…I could go on and on and on. And hey, it’s also the little things – the music and even the load screens change depending on whether you’re honorable or dishonorable. You get to bond with your horse, and if you’re like me, that becomes one of the most important parts of the game. If you really want to get lost in a world for hundreds of hours – and gods know now might be the time to do that – even rushing through this game will keep you busy for a long, long time to come. (Though I don’t suggest rushing through, because there is so much to savor here, even if you don’t want to try for 100% completion…which to be fair is very, very, very hard and time-consuming. Says the girl who spent an entire weekend just searching out the materials she needed for the final special satchel.)

BONUS: Check out Tara’s personal RDR2 coverage: Red Dead Online videos, Dragon Con panel podcast, MomoCon panel podcast, and IRL cosplay fun!

TITLE: The Last of Us
RECOMMENDED BY: Tara
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: This game hasn’t aged super well in terms of graphics, and it’s not the easiest to play (there’s no auto-aim, and even myself – a fairly experienced gamer – has to play it on the easiest mode to enjoy it), but the characters and story are amazing. And hey, what…better time…to play a game about the apocalypse? (Heh) It’s also not super lengthy – the average playtime is 16-20 hours. Plus The Last of Us 2 is coming out in May, so what better time to prepare?

TITLE: Sims 4
RECOMMENDED BY: Khai
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: If you’re not familiar with The Sims in general, it’s a “life simulation” game where you can build houses and public venues, create characters, and move them through life however you want. Sims 4 is the latest, and the core game is included with Origins basic and premier subscriptions if you have those. If not, there are tons of bundles that come with the core game and an expansion or a few game packs. Right now Sims 4 has expansions that add extra content in the form of vampires, spellcasters, mermaids, jobs you can actually go to and play in, the world of movies, pets, and tons more. The game has a ton of replay value, so it’s a great investment for long periods of home time. You can check out our own Sims streams over on our Twitch channel if you’re curious!

TITLE: Pokémon Go
RECOMMENDED BY: Khai
WHY I’M RECOMMENDING IT: It might seem counterintuitive to recommend Pokémon Go during a social distancing period, but Niantic has made some serious concessions to let players enjoy the game while still staying safe. Habitats are being expanded and increased to give you more Pokémon close to home. Incense lasts an hour (nice) and there’s a one-time purchase 30 pack of incense for a single coin. Spawns and gift drop rates are boosted. Best of all, those annoyingly slow blue incubators are cutting hatch times IN HALF right now so you don’t have to stay out as long. I’ve been doing some woods hiking to hatch eggs, which helps to curb the cabin fever. If you absolutely need to get out, this is probably one of the safer ways to do it. Just avoid raids at busy gyms and you’re golden.

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.


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About the author

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.