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Join us for the Play and Talk weekend

This weekend – June 20th and 21st – is the Play and Talk weekend. We’re asking you to do exactly what it says in the name: find one hour over the weekend with your mates or family, choose a game to play and then have a chat. Easy, yes, but also really important.

You see it’s Loneliness Awareness Week and we want to get everybody together to play games and have a chat with someone close to them.

Those chats when we’re playing games – when we’re relaxed, enjoying ourselves, comfortable – can be the most rewarding. We call it ‘sideways listening’ – the kinds of chats that just bubble up when you’re out running, walking, sitting on the sofa or, yes you guessed it, gaming. Without the pressure of looking someone in the eye, it can make it easier for you to be more open than you might not usually be. 

But this weekend isn’t all about deep and meaningful conversations – it’s more about being there for your mates or family and them being there for you too. Oh, and also showing them you’re the boss when it comes to Rocket League. You can also help us raise money to help answer more calls and have more life-saving conversations too (more about that at the bottom of the page).

We’ve teamed up with the whole games industry and our mates UKIE (who are the trade body for the UK’s games and interactive entertainment industry) to get as many people involved as possible.

With all the weird stuff we’ve all had to live through recently, there’s never been a better time to have a good chat with those people. 30% of the UK population have felt lonely during lockdown, rising to nearly 51% amongst people aged 16-24. People who admitted they felt lonely were also more likely to feel like they were struggling during lockdown. So making sure people know you’re there for them has never been more important.

Join us for Play and Talk

How to join in is a hell of a lot easier than trying to do a special move on an old Streetfighter game (Quarter Circle Forward + Punch / Down – Forward – Punch, anyone?). There are just 3 simple steps:

  1. Find one hour with your mates, family or someone nearby who you think would appreciate it this weekend

  2. Pick a game that you both like and feel comfortable playing together. Talk to each other via in-game chat, social media or the phone when you play – or you can also stream it on Twitch.

  3. Have a chat safely in game, on video or on social networks together. 

That’s it. And to make it even easier we’ve put together some games we think go well with a chat:

Play FIFA – it’s the weekend the Premier League and the Championship begin in earnest so why not recreate the game and see if you can predict the result? They’ll be some gloating for the winner and some post match analysis as well as some time for a chat.

Animal Crossing – the game everyone is talking about right now. It allows you to customise your island to the minute details – and players have been avidly selling turnips, sharing home decor ideas, clothing designs, and game tips on various social media platforms. The community element is a large part of the appeal too – the slow pace of the game means you can chill out and chat. 

Rocket League – “Nice Shot!” “What a Save!” “Close One!” – “Quick Chats” like those have been an essential part of Rocket League since it launched. And while in a party you can use the Party Chat to text chat to your friends on all platforms. Or, if you’re sat 2 metres away, from each other you can just chat normally.

Mario Party and Overcooked 2 – Many games support in-voice chat and these ones are great fun and great to play together.

We even have a list of games that span the generations and have been selected cos they’re easy to play for new gamers. Check it out here.

Need some more help getting going on the Play and Talk weekend? Head here for advice on how to get connected through games.

Help us fund more conversations

And if you’re playing and want to raise some money to help fund the life-saving conversations that our helpline workers have every day that would be great.

If you’d like to fundraise for us register your plan here, and set up a fundraising page for your friends and family to donate to. We’re here if you have any questions about setting it up. You can find out more about gaming for CALM here.

And you can also donate directly here.

You’ll be making a massive difference. Our helpline answered 23,332 calls and chats and directly prevented 100 suicides during the first 2 months of lockdown in the UK.

It costs £8 to answer a potentially life-saving call so every pound you raise will help. 

Happy gaming guys!

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article or in the comments below, are not those held by CALM or its Trustees unless stated, and liability cannot be accepted for such comments. We encourage friendly and constructive debate, but please don't share personal contact details when commenting and exercise caution when considering any advice offered by others. We don’t allow abusive, offensive or inappropriate comments or comments that could be interpreted as libellous, defamatory or commercial and we will remove these without warning as and when we find them.

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