ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The gaming industry has seen a boom since the beginning of the pandemic with the relationships and bonds built within the community being a major reason why.

18 News spoke with two gamers who say it’s thanks to video games that they are able to stay connected from hundreds of miles away.

The pandemic has continued to change our everyday norms from how we destress to even how we socialize and communicate with others… and for Nick Racha video games are the answer.

“I graduated from Syracuse with my master’s degree, and I decided I want to try something different so I moved across the country” says Racha.

Racha says, “I’m more of an introverted person so I know it’s gonna be a struggle to meet people. And I definitely did have trouble meeting people, but I used games as a way to stay connected with my friends that are from New York, and I played them almost every day with them”.

“We’ve all kind of moved around on our own thing and gone to college but we’ve all been able to stay connected through our passion for video games. It’s something we all enjoy doing in our off time, and it’s able to keep us connected”.

For Sean Tormey who lives in Philadelphia, gaming was a great way to stay busy amidst a pandemic.

“I mean, obviously with quarantining everyone has to kind of stay home so there’s almost no better thing to be doing than playing video games because you’re playing with other people. It’s probably one of the most social things you can be doing while quarantining and being safe during this pandemic” says Tormey.

Tormey says, “This is one of the most engaging ways to stay social with your friends and to meet new people, and there’s just endless opportunities to meet people and and be social with them”.

So in a world that feels all too distant throughout this pandemic, games like these are bringing friends together one click at a time.