Are you one of the 762,000 Aussies who’ve started gaming in quarantine?

A Gaming and Social Distancing Survey conducted by Alienware reveals that in the last six months, a staggering 762,000 Aussies have picked up gaming.

If there’s one industry that’s been doing well throughout 2020, it’s gaming. While everyone has been locked up and lonely in quarantine, we’ve consistently turned to one wonderful source of entertainment: games.

Now Alienware has released the results of a survey investigating the impact social distancing has had on the hobby, and the numbers are staggering.

More than 1,000 Australians over 18 responded to Alienware’s survey to determine how gaming has helped Aussies stay connected during isolation. One in ten of the participants began playing video games for the first time due to lockdown, and the rest of the survey is just as mind-boggling.

Having 762,000 people – that’s four percent of the Australian population – turn to gaming in 2020 is an amazing outcome for the industry and hobbyists alike. The Australian people’s opinion of gaming has shot up in positivity since the stay-home restrictions began earlier this year.

The study determined that gaming has emerged as a safe and sociable activity for Australians across all demographics. Many participants noted that gaming has helped reduce stress. Gaming has had a positive impact on their overall wellbeing, and has emerged as a very effective tool in maintaining relationships with friends and family.

More than 2.5 million people have been brought together to bond with their families over games during social distancing. 87 percent of parents have been increasingly finding video games to be useful in teaching their kids, and more than two in five parents and caregivers say that because of the stay-home restrictions, they now play online games with their kids. 43 percent of those parents and carers also stated that their kids have taught them how to play a video game during this period.

Not only do games help in maintaining relationships, but they also help build new communities. This led to three in five participants stating that gaming helps people build new social connections, whether it be through online groups, multiplayer games, or being involved in the same streaming communities.

52 percent of the surveyed people consider gaming to be a social activity, and the survey found that the sense of camaraderie Aussies are feeling while playing is even overtaking their need for the perfect game.

50 percent of participants think that playing games as a form of socialising is just as important, or even more important, than the actual gameplay.

The survey found that Australians have found games to have a positive impact in helping to manage their mental health. A whopping 78 percent of gamer participants claimed that gaming has been a positive outlet for them during social distancing.

59 percent of Alienware’s participants stated that their overall wellbeing has improved due to the social element of gaming. 42 percent of participants even said that gaming during lockdown has kept their minds active. Of those Aussies who started gaming in lockdown, one in five anticipate that their gaming habits will increase.

Two in five Australians have been regularly playing online with their real-life friends, with 29 percent even setting up regular gaming sessions to help them stay connected during these troublesome times.

Jocelyn Brewer, a registered psychologist and cyberpsychology researcher stated that:

“The pandemic has shifted our attitude to many things, and our use of technology and the value of games to engage and connect communities is one of them. While many have felt the effects of being ‘Zoom’ed out’ and the drain of video conferencing fatigue, video gaming has provided energising and stress relieving ways for people to manage the ‘new normal’.”

While we navigate the strange times we’ve found ourselves in, sometimes it pays to just sit back and relax with a game in hand and your friends screaming in your ears as you betray them in space, or maybe as you bounce around on an unstable map while trying to keep your feet.

Perhaps you’re a fan of sneaky moves and strategies, or prefer to work on climbing the ranks like a pro. Maybe you want to teach your parents how to virtually fish, or work together to terrorise some poor small town.

The possibilities are endless, and thanks to Alienware, you can not only see how connected you are with the rest of Australia, but you can finally prove to your parents that games really are good.