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Video Games and Mental Health During the Pandemic

Caeley O'Connor

Posted on September 28, 2021 02:35

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The pandemic has hit us hard in a variety of ways. However, I found that playing video games with friends is something that helped to get through these difficult times just a little bit easier.

Mental health is something that has become increasingly important for many people ever since the start of the pandemic. During our time in lockdown and even now, people have become increasingly more aware of how important it is to check in on both yourself and your peers.

However, there are limited ways of talking to our loved ones. Sure, we can call and FaceTime them, but it’s difficult to have much interaction between the two (or more) of you. That’s where video games come in.

Although it sounds a bit strange at first, video games are one of the ways that I was able to keep in touch with my friends during the lockdown. Being a part of something together and interacting with each other was something that I honestly think brought us closer together, even though it was all virtual.

There was no formality of Zoom calls or stress about scheduled meetings. Instead, we’d message each other if we wanted to play, hop on a game, and play for a while. Having a space to relax and unwind was refreshing, even if the game we were playing was a scary one.

We didn’t expect each other to be formal or completely serious. We knew that the virtual space we created was one where we could mess around with each other. It was similar to how it was before the pandemic. The only difference is that we were doing it virtually.

Some people see video games as a waste of time. After all, we would just sit at our desks and move around our virtual characters. However, the games we played and continue to play together offered us an escape from the difficulties of lockdown and actually do something together.

Zoom calls and FaceTiming is fun, but you can’t really interact with the person on the other end. With our video games, we were able to interact virtually with each other and various environments that made us forget about the world around us for a little while. Being able to talk to my friends and interact with them at the same time was an extra boost of serotonin.

“Having Zoom calls with friends is great, but sometimes the conversations can feel forced,” said Kendall Zavadovics, one of my close friends. “When I’m playing [video games], there’s never a dull moment and always something for us to laugh about.”

Having an escape from the stress of the pandemic that I could access from the comfort of my home was something that helped me maintain a positive attitude and better mental health.

The enjoyment that comes with playing video games with friends is something I can always look forward to when I don’t have the ability to go out with friends. If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that mental health is far more important than we ever thought and there are plenty of ways to maintain a positive mental attitude, including video games.

Caeley O'Connor

Posted on September 28, 2021 02:35

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