The British public is being encouraged to play online this weekend (June 20 – 21) as part of a government campaign to tackle loneliness.
The Play & Talk weekend is taking place during National Loneliness Awareness Week, and is part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) #Let’sTalkLoneliness campaign, which aims to tackle the stigma of loneliness.
People of all ages – whether they consider themselves video game players or not – are encouraged to find one hour to play together online, re-connect with friends and have a conversation with the aim of reducing loneliness.
In a statement, the UK’s Creative Industries Minister Caroline Dinenage said she was “delighted” the UK games sector had supported the #Let’sTalkLoneliness campaign.
“Video games have given many of us a form of escapism in lockdown and brought many people together as they connect online,” she said.
“So this weekend, as part of our Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign, I encourage people to pick your game of choice, play with family and friends but also take time to talk about how you are feeling and faring.”
Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of UK trade body UKIE added: “We’ve seen people around the world turn to video games to socialise and have fun with friends and family during the pandemic.
“It’s when we’re in these friendly and relaxed environments that we feel most at ease opening up, and right now there’s no better or safer way for people to do that than in video games.”