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UK industry promotes connection through video games

The UK games industry has launched the PLAY&Talk weekend on the 20th-21st June to bring together people of all ages to play games, talk with one another and combat loneliness in the process.

Loneliness is something that affects everyone from time to time. But the coronavirus crisis has left many people feeling more distant from others than usual.

A survey from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) revealed that over 30% of the UK population have felt lonely during lockdown, rising to nearly 51% amongst people aged 16-24. People who admitted they felt lonely were also more likely to feel like they were struggling during lockdown.

The Play&Talk Weekend, which has launched in time for National Loneliness Awareness Week, aims to reduce feelings of isolation by getting people to talk with friends or family safely online.

Backed by over 30 companies in the games industry, the Play&Talk weekend hopes to initiate 10,000 extra conversations across the UK through the power of games.

Take part in the PlayAndTalk

To get going with Play&Talk couldn’t be simpler. All you need to do is:

  1. Find one hour of time together on the 20th or 21st June with your family or friends
  1. Choose a game that you would like to play together
  1. Talk to each other via in-game chat, social media or the phone when you play

And if you need a hand on how to get started, we’ve put together a selection of resources to give a range of people advice on how to get going with online play safely:

These include:

  1. A guide on how to set up an online game and chat inside it, produced with the help of our friends at the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM)
  2. Tips on how to get grandparents playing to use games to connect with them
  3. Top Game Suggestions For Connection Online
  4. Advice for families on how to stay safe while communicating online through games to ensure a safe and friendly experience
  5. Recommendations for great online games for players of all ages, including families

Finally, we’re encouraging anyone who plans to take part to talk about it on social media. Use the #PlayAndTalk to let others know about overcoming loneliness through games so that we can share what you’re up to through our accounts.

We know how important it is to be able to talk when you’re feeling lonely. If you need to speak to someone, we recommend the following sources of advice:

Avatar for Andrew Robertson
Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.