Video Game Escapism During Quarantine


  •  Eian Prinsen    
  •  Damian Schofield    

Abstract

Video games, and especially roleplaying games offer a way for players to escape stress and cope with stressors. Video games are a new, and potentially unique, mechanism for telling stories. They allow a player to not only interact with a world, but to fully immerse themselves in a digital world. Being able to quite literally escape to a fantasy world where your actions matter, and you’re given control can be a great form of self-therapy for players.

This study aims to examine the results of a global pandemic and quarantine on player motivations and the reasons they play video games. The study collected detailed information on the video games genres and play time of each user and how it has been affected during self-isolation. Participants were also asked a series of questions that required them to evaluate their gaming habits both prior to and during the pandemic. This information was analysed to attempt to further understand players choices, in particular during a pandemic where there is an increased need to alleviate stress and experience a sense of escapism.



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