nintendo switch flying flight
Image: Nintendo

Thanks, Nintendo Switch, For Helping With My Fear of Flying

This Thanksgiving, GameRevolution and its sister site PlayStation LifeStyle are saying “thanks” to their favorite games, consoles, and developers.

I’m not a big fan of flying. Even if you take away the concept of being propelled through the air in a tin can, the whole experience feels anxiety-inducing by design. Airports are bright, overcrowded, and noisy, not allowing for any period of decompression before you’re shuffled onto said tin can for multiple hours. When you’re finally shoved onto the plane, you’re claustrophobically crammed together among the sweaty masses, screaming babies, and people with no sense of personal space. Thank God for the Nintendo Switch, then, which hasn’t exactly cured my fear of flying, but continues to provide the perfect distraction during those journeys abroad.

Back in the pre-Nintendo Switch days, I’d take an army of distractions with which to entertain myself on a flight. My wife always jokes about one trip to Croatia where my hand luggage contained seven books, a 3DS, and a few card games, all intended to try to keep me occupied while I was jettisoned through the sky. This didn’t work, and I wound up having a five-hour panic attack before spending the rest of the vacation concerned about the journey back. I managed to resolve this by drinking a lot before boarding — not advisable, given the ungodly number of times I had to disappear to the bathroom during the flight.

But the Nintendo Switch has had a hugely positive impact on my ability to deal with flights. Previously, I’d spend hours rummaging around for a distraction, desperately trying and failing to focus on a book as my anxious brain took over. But with the Switch, travel time is now an opportunity to progress in a game I’ve wanted to play, providing several hours where I can’t do anything but enjoy a video game or two.

Being able to carve out some time for yourself as an adult is a rare thing, and flights now present an opportunity to just sit down and play a video game without any other distractions. While I still don’t find the entire experience of flying enjoyable, the knowledge that once I’m sat in my seat I’ll be able to finally complete Pokemon Legends: Arceus, or that I can have a few rounds of Smash Ultimate with my wife with zero interruptions, is its own kind of bliss in among the chaos of air travel.

So thank you, Nintendo Switch, for making flights bearable for me and my ridiculous, terrified brain.