Unpausing the world: Ukie and The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) team up to launch initiative highlighting the power of games as a way to reduce the pain of social distancing

Thursday 2nd April, 10am: Today, Ukie announced a partnership with leading suicide prevention charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), to highlight the mental health benefits of bringing people together during intense lockdown with the help of games.

As millions across the globe are trapped in isolation, and with more people than ever turning to online games for comfort, ‘the world is on pause’ campaign aims to encourage players to use the powerful social nature of games to bring family, friends and communities together while maintaining healthy play habits.

To launch the partnership a bespoke set of free resources has been rolled out to support and educate players that includes:

·       Practical advice on how to use online games, online game platforms and game streaming platforms to stay in touch during these tough times

·       Tips on how to play together at home with families, as well as providing guidance on how to do so safely and sensibly

·       Recommendations from CALM for games that can be played online or offline effectively and direct links to resources and support chats to help anyone who might be going through a rough patch

With social distancing across the globe preventing physical contact between friends and family, CALM is encouraging people to stay connected and talk to others whilst gaming.

Speaking on the partnership, Simon Gunning, CEO of CALM said: “Gaming can be an incredible force for good, especially during these unprecedented times of quarantine and isolation. While social distancing keeps people apart, the need to connect and socialise remains which is why we’re delighted to team up with Ukie to launch this initiative. More and more people are turning to online gaming as a place for solace, which is why it’s important to encourage healthy gaming habits to ensure we stay on top of our mental wellbeing.”

“It’s essential that people stay at home to save lives” said Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie. “But we want to do our bit to ensure that social distancing doesn’t transform into isolation. Working with CALM has helped us find an effective way to prevent that and we hope this resource can keep people talking with one another.”

You can access the resource here: https://www.thecalmzone.net/2020/03/when-the-world-is-on-pause-games-can-help-keep-you-connected/

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About Ukie

Ukie is the trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry, representing over 480 games businesses and organisations across the country.

A not-for-profit, it represents businesses of all sizes creating and publishing games across all platforms as well as a wide range of partner members providing valuable services to the video games industry..

Ukie also runs or contributes to a number of additional initiatives aimed at supporting the sector including Digital Schoolhouse, responsible play site askaboutgames.com and Games London (created in partnership with Film London).

Website: ukie.org.uk

Contact: ukie@bastion.co.uk

About CALM

The Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) is leading a ​M​ovement ​A​gainst ​S​uicide — offering life saving services, provoking national conversation and bringing people together to empower everyone to reject living miserably and stand together against suicide.

On average,125 people in the UK take their own lives every week, with 75% of all suicide in the UK being male. CALM runs a free and anonymous helpline and webchat service from 5pm to midnight 365 days a year. CALM takes 12,000 calls and webchats every month, and in 2019, directly prevented 588 suicides.

Alongside this life-saving service, CALM aims to create more action across society, against suicide through multi-award winning campaigns like Project 84, which succeeded in getting millions talking and the government appointing the UK’s (and world’s) first Minister for Suicide Prevention.

CALM also brings people together with collective action around interest points like running, football and art to drive cultural change and empower communities to better support the mental health and wellbeing of themselves and those around them.

For more information, visit thecalmzone.net

Contact: shervinbehzadi@thecalmzone.net