Gaming during lockdown is easing anxiety, finds new BullGuard survey

UK gamers are taking advantage of lockdown to up their game time, and by doing so, 49% say they are alleviating anxiety of the current situation. That’s according to BullGuard’s new survey.

The cybersecurity company teamed up with system and gaming rig builder Chillblast to survey over 1,000 gamers about their habits during the Coronavirus lockdown. Not surprisingly, it was discovered that rather than succumb to boredom and stress, gamers have increased their time online and feel better for it.

84% say their gaming has increased due to lockdown with a whopping 27% gaming for an extra five or more hours a day. Extra time spent online has proven to be a boon for gamers with nearly half (43%) of respondents being able to improve their gaming skills.

Given increased gaming time, you might think gamers’ families would have something to say about the increased hours spent in front of a screen – but over three quarters (77%) of respondents said they live with partners and family who have no issues with their lockdown gaming habits.

“It’s great to see how gaming across the board is helping people deal with the lockdown. As a society we have more awareness about mental health and so it is heartening to see how gaming is helping with a sense of wellbeing. The results underline how gaming can play a major role to encourage many to follow the WHO’s health guidelines during the Covid-19 pandemic, as demonstrated by the gaming industry’s #PlayApartTogether campaign, which has been hailed on Twitter by Ray Chambers, the WHO’s Ambassador for Global Strategy,” said Ben Miles, managing director at Chillblast.

Not only did respondents admit to spending more time on their consoles/PCs, 73% said they were spending more money on gaming too, with 16.6% even admitting to spending an additional £100 plus a month on in-game purchases, new games, hardware or other related items.

The survey further revealed that 84% of gamers are using antivirus protection and that 79% are not turning off their antivirus when gaming. This is an encouraging point because cybercriminals have unleashed a near tsunami of malware, taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic and the additional time that gamers are spending online due to the lockdown.

Paul Lipman, CEO at BullGuard, explained: “It’s incredibly positive to see that 84% of gamers are using antivirus, enabling them to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals who are taking advantage of the pandemic. The survey however revealed that over 20% of respondents either do not have any AV or turn it off whilst gaming. This is because gamers notoriously believe that AV slows down frame rates, however, thanks to advanced software, this is not always the case. Antivirus can now include features like BullGuard’s patent-pending Game Booster, which not only protects gamers online, but has proven to deliver optimal performance.”

Although the survey revealed that additional gaming has helped with overall mental wellbeing, it also revealed that some crucial day-to-day routines may have slipped, with 1 in 5 admitting to missing showers, 29% not going outside for over three days and 16% even admitting to skipping cleaning their teeth.

”The survey results demonstrate that gamers really are savvy all-rounders. They’re looking after their mental health, keeping themselves safe from cybercriminals and the increase in cyberattacks, as well as taking the Government’s crucial advice, which is to: Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives,” Lipman concluded.

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