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Stay connected and in control

Stay connected and in control

What we care about are the milestones – yours and ours. The chats – online and IRL. Making sure no-one has to face the top level boss that is life’s struggles alone. We know it’s more important than ever that we stay connected with others and take good care of ourselves too. Games provide a perfect opportunity to do just that.

To find out more about gaming for CALM head HERE.

Keep in touch

Through our work with our mates over at UKIE, we know it’s more important than ever to keep in touch with our pals. Games provide a perfect opportunity to do just that – not only through the obvious route of playing them with friends, but also through their rich communities and online fanbases.

Don’t just take it from us. Jamie Drew from BROverwatch knows how effective gaming can be as a channel of conversation: “I’ve been trying to get my friends to play this with me for almost a year and a few months ago it worked. I finally dragged JP, Duncan, and Carl down to my level, the playing-at-3am level, and a funny thing happened: we started talking.

“We’re all in that weird, liminal period of our lives, feeling stuck in careers and relationships, feeling hard-done by the state of the world right now, feeling kind of alone. At some point the group chat moved from tactical movements in a “Protect The Payload” session towards a more frank and open place in the real world.”

That’s the good stuff. So why not try getting on a game with some pals and seeing where the chat takes you? Even James Buckley is getting in on the action.

Get social online

Thankfully, all major platforms have an online component where you can add friends, talk to them via messages or voice chat, and set up groups without even having to start up a game. How good is that? To play games online with other people, players will have to subscribe to their respective online services below.

Most online multiplayer games also have social components to them, meaning you and your crew can chat and create ‘lobbies’ of private games. We’ve got a great range of recommendations for you including:

Try streaming communities 

Perhaps you don’t have a console and you just want to watch live broadcasts of people playing games. Well, who could blame you? Video game streaming is great and is a really popular way of bringing a community together around a game. Most channels and streams will usually have a chat feature so that you can talk to others live and, best of all, these platforms are free to access. 

The main video streaming platforms showing off games content are:

Outside of streaming and other in game chat, you could set up a Discord chat with friends. It’s a free to use audio and text app, allowing users to set up their own servers and organise big voice group chats in there. It’s the perfect way to co-ordinate your in game chat, but can also be the perfect place to chat directly with mates once you’ve popped the controller down.

Steam is an online store for PC games, however also has a vibrant community which users can add friends and message through.

Get social offline

Here’s some good news: connecting with others via a game doesn’t always rely on an online component. There are plenty of offline games to keep spirits up without needing an online connection so rope in your family or flatmates and get playing.

Explore the List of Lists

If you haven’t yet found your way to the List of Lists.  There are over 500 games from the super popular to the relatively unknown, all curated by Taming Gaming into unusual lists. Although it started out as a way of caring for kids who love games, it’s become an awesome asset for all gamer’s. These are some of CALM’s favourites.

Hope through play: Try this list for games that leave you feeling uplifted. For those looking for that warm and fuzzy feeling of hope.

Space for grief: If you’re looking for games that can provide a helpful space in which to process, consider and understand grieving, death and loss these can really help.

Tend and befriend: These games offer the chance to escape. You’ll find yourself tending to a plot of land and nurturing often surprisingly moving relationships.

Build resilience: You know games – they’re made to present you with adversity and the joy comes from taking it on and overcoming those obstacles, helping you build up your resilience.

Stay in control

As with anything in life, moderation is important. Games can be a hugely positive way to spend some time during this strange period and to connect with your friends. 

But, let’s be honest, you don’t want to come out the other side of this with a sub-50 daily step count and a galaxy of crumbs nestled into your jumper. 

Take breaks every hour for at least five minutes (ideally ten). Make sure to break up your sessions with other hobbies, like reading, watching the telly or whatever else keeps you busy. If you’re setting up games for your family, remember to use your console’s family settings to manage or limit things like play time. 

Finally, remember to eat well, sleep, and exercise where possible in line with the latest government advice.

Get more great advice from our mates over at UKIE and Ask About Games.

Remember CALM is here for you

Remember that CALM is here for you no matter who you are or what you’re going through.

Our free and anonymous helpline and webchat are open every day, as normal, from 5pm-midnight. If you need support, or are worried about someone, you can get help HERE.