Video games hailed as social saviour during lonely lockdown for Scots
Online gaming is becoming an increasingly popular lockdown coping mechanism as coronavirus restrictions continue to prevent households meeting indoors across Scotland.
Dominic Stevenson, a 35 year-old writer from Edinburgh said that online gaming has helped his mental health in ways he would have never expected.
He said: “I’ve never been a video game player but just after the start of lockdown a friend of mine accidentally added me to his Dungeons and Dragons Whatsapp group, thinking I was another Dominic in his contacts book, and I decided to give it a go.
"I was hesitant at first as I didn’t know anything about the game, but my friend’s patience has made me into one of the most ferocious apprentice wizards (Tambert Shrill) the
internet has ever seen.”
Dominic plays Dungeons and Dragons online every Monday night for two to three hours, he added: “We’re supposed to start at 8pm but we end up catching up for half an hour or
so before we start playing.
"It’s a great way to break up the week and keep in touch.”
John Fernandez, a 27-year-old Edinburgh based journalist said that playing Call of Duty Warzone after work with his network of friends from university has become his ‘crutch.’
He said: “Sounds a bit lame, but we just catch up. One of my mates has just been made redundant and even on days when we wouldn't be playing the same game we'd still be in a
Playstation party and chat to each other just to keep spirits up.
"I'd literally never played an online game before 2020 really, so it's been very strange, but a huge positive morale boost while I'm stuck on my third floor Haymarket flat with no garden.”
Matthew Fulton, a 23-year-old masters student from Glasgow said that playing video games has become his new normal, offering him the opportunity to catch up with his friends while restrictions prevent them meeting.
He said: “We normally play around 4-5 nights a week for a few hours. I've really enjoyed playing Fortnite, which I'm probably way too old for if truth be told.
"I also recently started playing Star Wars: Squadrons which has brought back childhood memories of the classic Star Wars games.”
Ms Fulton added: “I think playing on Playstation with my mates on a Saturday night replaced going to the pub during lockdown.”
For 28 year-old Edinburgh dental nurse, Lauren Meharry, playing video games was less about social isolation and more of a method to manage her anxiety during the pandemic.
Ms Meharry’s partner regularly played Fifa and Call of Duty and suggested she give it a go.
She said: “Throughout lockdown I was playing the Spyro trilogy on Xbox. The thought of it at first seemed a bit silly to me, but I actually started playing and it was a great distraction.”
She continued: “When full lockdown was in swing, I had four weeks off work. I’m not used to doing nothing for that length of time and so I started to focus my energy on
progressing through the video game.
"I played everyday for around two hours for at least two weeks of the full lockdown. It really gave me time out from the pandemic situation which I felt I, as well as everybody else,