How gaming can help you beat the blues.
How gaming can help you beat the blues.

Gaming could be the answer to virus self-isolation blues

Spending your days playing video games online is now officially a healthy pastime according to CQUni gaming researcher Lorelle Bowditch.

With government officials encouraging residents to stay inside and practice social distancing, social media is rife with ­individuals posting about the struggles of self-isolation. Ms Bowditch, who has researched internet gaming and its ability to help individuals deal with stressful situations, says internet gaming could be the answer.

"People often use internet gaming as a means to both offer and receive support from other when access to 'real life' social support is lacking," Ms Bowditch said.

"Some perceived that internet gaming allowed them to cope with loneliness, connect socially, increase their positive feelings and alleviate negative moods."

In connecting with others online, players can socialise without leaving the comfort and safety of their own home.

When pop culture ­YouTuber Chris Hunt, or 'Uncle Chunt' as he goes by online, made the move from Rockhampton to Brisbane a few years ago, online gaming helped make the transition away from his friends and family a little easier.

"I've felt very isolated at times. Being able to hop online for a game now and then and catch up with one another make a world of difference," he said.

As well as the social factor, Mr Hunt says gaming provides a fun escape from reality.

"It can benefit those who need to escape when you can't indulge in your normal routine," he said.

"With the right games you just might find yourself experiencing a story that moves you or makes you think.

"You won't be alone, you'll be doing the right thing [self isolating] and you'll be having fun doing it."