The COVID-19 pandemic has affected our lives in many ways, including how we choose to spend our time and deal with unprecedented circumstances. Anecdotal reports suggest that many have turned to playing video games during the pandemic. To better understand how games are being used during the lockdown, we conducted an online survey (N = 781) that focused on gameplay habits and effects on players’ well-being. We find that time spent playing games has increased for 71% of respondents, while 58% of respondents reported that playing games has impacted their well-being, with the overwhelming majority of responses indicating a positive impact. We identify seven ways that games have affected players, such as providing cognitive stimulation and opportunities to socialise, and a variety of benefits related to mental health, including reduced anxiety and stress. Our findings highlight the sociocultural significance of video games and the potentially positive nature of games’ effects on well-being.


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Barr, M. & Copeland-Stewart, A. 2021, 'Playing video games during the COVID-19 pandemic and effects on players’ well-being', Games and Culture. https://doi.org/10.1177/15554120211017036

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Last updated: 17 June 2022
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