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It's safe to say that it's a pretty rough time for everyone at the moment. The current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is confining us to our homes and limiting our social interactions with anyone outside of our households. But one way you can stay in touch - and many of us probably already are - is through online gaming.
But to help get the word out, UK trade body, Ukie has teamed up with suicide prevention charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to help introduce online gaming to a wider audience and potentially save lives. The campaign, which launched earlier today, offers advice on how to use online games to feel less isolated as well as loads of resources to help families stay in touch through gaming.
"Gaming can be an incredible force for good, especially during these unprecedented times of quarantine and isolation," said CALM's marketing and communications director Ben Hawley, "While social distancing keeps people apart, the need to connect and socialise remains which is why we're delighted to team up with Ukie to launch this initiative. More and more people are turning to online gaming as a place for solace, which is why it's important to encourage healthy gaming habits to ensure we stay on top of our mental wellbeing."
The extent that everyone's day-to-day lives are effected is varying. If you already work at home or live alone, you may not be as impacted as someone who normally works an office job and now finds themselves trying to do that work at home, while juggling the childcare with their partner. Add any existing mental health condition on top of that and these issues could feel much more amplified.
"It's essential that people stay at home to save lives" said Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie. "But we want to do our bit to ensure that social distancing doesn't transform into isolation. Working with CALM has helped us find an effective way to prevent that and we hope this resource can keep people talking with one another."
You and I might know how easy it is to hang out with friends while escaping the real world through gaming but there are plenty of people out there that might not. And right now is really a time that so many people could really benefit from the social interaction as well as the distraction that games offer.
Communication is difficult at the moment but we're lucky in that we live in an age where so much can be done online. If you know someone that isn't usually into games, now might be a good time to give them a (metaphorical) nudge in that direction. Of if you haven't heard from that one friend in a while and you were due a catch up, send them the link to Discord so you can hang out there instead.
Featured Image Credit: @theCALMzone
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