Video Games Are One Way We’re Coping With The Coronavirus Epidemic – With 76% Of Kotaku Readers Playing More In Isolation

Video Games Are One Way We’re Coping With The Coronavirus Epidemic – With 76% Of Kotaku Readers Playing More In Isolation
Credit: Pedestrian Group

A few weeks ago, we asked how our readers were coping with the coronavirus epidemic. While many of them were spending more time on social media and watching TV, video games ranked highly as a tool for dealing with stress. Here’s what else we found.

We received over 10,000 responses across the Pedestrian Group brands, with 55 per cent of respondents belonging to the 18-34 age group and a further 42 per cent in the 35+ age category.

What Worries Our Readers Most

Coronavirus has changed the way that we live, from work to leisure time.

Seven months ago, we sent out a survey that identified climate change, jobs, economic security and social issues as major concerns for our readers. Now, the economic fallout of COVID-19 ranks as the highest concern at 60 per cent, followed by the health impact of COVID-19 at 17 per cent and climate change at 14 per cent (compared with 50 per cent in the last survey).

A primary personal concern raised in the survey was the potential for family members to be infected with COVID-19. This was especially true for young readers, with 30 per cent of young Aussies identifying it as a core worry.

To prevent this outcome, our readers are currently following government directives, with under 2 per cent of readers believing that the government restrictions are an overreaction, and under 2 per cent not following social distancing practices.

Another major concern raised in the survey was job security — with 19 per cent of respondents indicating they had lost their employment due to coronavirus.

How Our Readers Are Coping With Coronavirus

Mental health ranked as the third highest worry for young Aussies. Coronavirus has added mounting stress to all our lives, so it’s important to know how to cope.

The things that respondents miss most about life before coronavirus included seeing friends and family, socialising, freedom, stability and outdoor activities.

To cope, they’re doing more of the following:

  • Using social media: 57 per cent
  • Watching TV: 54 per cent
  • Housework: 44 per cent
  • Cooking: 44 per cent
  • Video calls: 42 per cent
  • Making coffee at home: 40 per cent
  • Listening to music: 37 per cent
  • Playing video games: 36 per cent

For Kotaku Australia readers, video games were the most important coping mechanism, with 76 per cent of people playing more games in isolation.

Video Games Are Boosting Well-Being During The Coronavirus Lockdown

The same week social distancing measures were announced in Australia (March 16 – March 22), sales of game consoles leaped 285.6%. Prior to this, sales were declining month on month.

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As the coronavirus epidemic continues, it’s essential that we all keep in touch with each other and look after our mental health. It’s great to see the positive impact that games are already having.

Source: Pedestrian Group reader survey, April 2020, 18-34 (n=5,611)

What are some of your personal coping methods for dealing with coronavirus stress?


  • I’d love to be someone who has more time to watch tv or other things, but unfortunately I seem to just be working more..

    • Politicians have been saying that a lot lately, even before the pandemic and almost always in relation to what we are losing.
      I suspect we’re going to be hearing it a lot more at the other end of all this too.

  • Meanwhile we just want to know the percentage of people who are masturbating more than usual.
    Oh, that’s just me?

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