HAWRELIAK, DAVIAU and LANGILLE: Playing video games can ease loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic

Jason Hawreliak, Associate Professor of Game Studies at Brock University, Charles Daviau, Master Lecturer of Economics and Labour Relations at Laurentian University, and Aaron Langille, Master Lecturer of Computer Science at Laurentian University, had a piece published in The Conversation Wednesday, April 1 about the ability of video games to keep people feeling connected during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They write:

“As communities across the globe are urged to stay indoors and practice physical distancing measures, feelings of isolation and loneliness are likely to become more prevalent. To combat the potential social and psychological impacts of physical distancing, many people are turning to video games.

Video games were once widely perceived as inherently anti-social. However, the World Health Organization, which has warned about the risks of too much gaming, recently launched #PlayApartTogether, partnering with major gaming studios to encourage people to stay home.

Even without the presence of a global pandemic, the video game market is staggering in size, far exceeding the film and music industries. People play video games for many reasons, including relaxation, escapism and (of course) fun, but they also provide spaces for people to get together and stay connected. This is especially important now, when people may be feeling increasingly isolated, lonely and anxious.”

Continue reading the full article here.

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