A recent survey by YouGov reveals that families are gaming to reconnect with distant loved ones, connect with kids and keep stress to a minimum.

Games Are Helping Distant Friends And Family Members Bond

According to the survey, which Xbox commissioned, 58 percent of consumers surveyed stated they use multiplayer gaming to connect with distant relatives and friends who can’t make it back home for the holidays. That can be important for families and friends who won’t be traveling this year. A recent study found that 43 percent of Americans will not be traveling to see loved ones this holiday season, and 40 percent won’t participate in any large gatherings either. The reason millions of Americans are staying home isn’t just because of a fear of COVID or other public health concerns; 37 percent state it is because of concerns over inflation, according to a recent survey by Deloitte. That means consumers who can’t be there in person with friends and family will likely spend a lot of time online and will likely invest in ways to make virtual interactions more engaging. Recently, Microsoft began testing a family plan option for its popular Xbox Game Pass in Columbia and Ireland. The family pass would allow a subscription to be shared with up to four people. 

Consumers Are Using Gaming To Deal With Holiday Stress 

According to a recent survey, with 64 percent of us concerned about our finances this holiday season, it isn’t surprising that families want to escape stress together through gaming. The YouGov study revealed that 54 percent of consumers use gaming to deal with holiday stress, and there’s a good amount of science behind that answer. A 2020 survey showed that games can produce positive stress release and allow social interactions which, although virtual, can deliver powerful benefits. Those interactions can not only help relieve stress for adults, but they can also help younger people deal with the stress of isolation when away from friends, according to University of Saskatchewan computer science professor Regan Mandryk, who directed the research in 2020.

“When (kids) can’t (interact) physically, they can do that right now in a game like Minecraft that allows them to build together, to be creative, to express themselves in the way that they feel most natural to express themselves.” In addition, researchers have seen positive results as therapists have used games such as Minecraft as a stress-relief tool for several years, according to a report by the World Economic Forum.

Learn more about gaming during the holidays.