Postcards from Quarantine, 2020
Valleymeet, Horizon: Zero Dawn
Chinatown, Bleake Island, Gotham City, Batman: Arkham Knight
Ringed Temple, Alfheim, God of War
Panama, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Near O'Creagh's Run, East Grizzlies, Ambarino, Red Dead Redemption 2
Wedding Cave, Ashina Depths, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
Panamanian Prison, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Central Research, The Oldest House, New York City, Control
Cliff Path, The Forbidden Lands, Shadow of the Colossus
Scarlett Meadows, Lemoyne, Red Dead Redemption 2
Del Perro, Los Santos, San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto V
Miagani Island, Gotham City, Batman: Arkham Knight
Lincoln, Massachusetts, The Last of Us
Rossi Estate, Italy, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Stone Arch Gorge, The Forbidden Lands, Shadow of the Colossus
Senpou Temple, Mt. Kongo, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
King's Bay, Madagascar, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End
Shady Belle, Lemoyne, Red Dead Redemption 2
Outskirts of Lincoln, Massachusetts, The Last of Us
Mail Room, The Oldest House, New York City, Control
Grand Senora Desert, Blaine County, San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto V
Mibu Manor, Fountainead Palace, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
River in New Orleans, Louisiana, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
Western Cape, The Forbidden Lands, Shadow of the Colossus
Sun Furrows, Horizon: Zero Dawn
As a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak, countries all over the world have been implementing quarantine tactics in the form of lockdowns, entry bans and restrictions on travellers coming in or out. Combined with decreased willingness to travel, the pandemic has had severe negative impact on the tourism industry; the United Nations World Tourism Organisation reported a 57% decrease in travel in March 2020, leading to an estimated loss of US$80 billion₁.
Simultaneously, video games have experienced a spike in playtime as more people are spending time indoors. Campaigns such as #PlayApartTogether, initiated by the World Health Organisation in collaboration with several game publishers, have encouraged social engagement through video games to promote social distancing.₂
The gaming industry has been actively supporting epidemic relief efforts; Rockstar Games has promised to donate 5% of their revenue generated by in-game purchases in GTA Online and Red Dead Online in April and May 2020₃ , while Humble Bundle managed to raise over US$6.5 million through their “Conquer COVID-19 Bundle”, with all proceeds going to Direct Relief, International Rescue Committee, Doctors Without Borders and Partners in Health.₄
In June 2018, the World Health Organisation published the latest update to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), adding “gaming disorder” to its list of mental illnesses, defining it as the compulsive use of video games which continues or escalates despite negative consequences₅. WHO estimates that this affects around 1-3% of more than 2 billion regular gamers worldwide.₆ This implementation was made despite debates in the field on whether this disorder is a separate clinical entity or a product of underlying mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and loneliness, which video games are being used to alleviate.₇
Postcards from Quarantine is a series of photographs taken in a number of video games that I played over the course of 72 days spent in social isolation, a diary of my virtual travels at a time when “real” travel was forbidden.
7. Wood, R.T.A. Problems with the Concept of Video Game “Addiction”: Some Case Study Examples. Int J Ment Health Addiction 6, 169–178 (2008).
The series is available to download on itch.io as a pack of wallpaper images for desktop and mobile.