Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Samuel Edomwonyi 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

I am a soon to be Applied Psychology graduate in the technology path. I have a keen interest in cyberpsychology and gaming related research. My goal is to find work within these areas to further my knowledge and apply the skills and knowledge that I have learned throughout my years of study.

Social and gaming experiences across subsequent COVID-19 lockdowns

Various studies have shown that online gaming could potentially be used to counteract the negative effects induced by COVID-19, such as social isolation, missing daily activities and psychological stresses.

Online multiplayer games can provide necessary social interactions that may be difficult to engage in due to lockdowns and social distancing, as well as providing a way to cope with psychological stresses that people may have experienced from prolonged periods of self-isolation. The significant increase in gaming activities and behaviours throughout the subsequent lockdowns support this idea, further showing the importance of understanding the benefits that online gaming can have in this context.

Purpose of the research

The covid-19 pandemic has become a common aspect of day-to-day life, with restrictions such as self-isolation and social distancing being put into place, leading many people to feel socially isolated. There has also been a massive increase in gaming, with more people being introduced to online gaming. This research aims to understand how social interactions in online gaming has benefited individuals during different lockdown periods, examining both the impact of lockdown on social and gaming behaviours, as well as the influence on their motivations to engage in social and gaming behaviours.


The thematic analysis revealed two major themes with various sub-themes (which can be seen from the thematic analysis map above):

Social motivations to gaming and non-social motivations to gaming during the lockdown.
This theme concerns the varying motivations that participants had when they wanted to play games. A few of the participants had already been playing games before the lockdown and viewed gaming as more of a hobby. Interestingly, those who were not as familiar with gaming until the lockdown, used gaming for more of the social features than gameplay features.

The impact of lockdown on gaming activities and on socializing in games.
This theme touches on how the lockdown had affected participants gaming related activities during the lockdown. Almost all participants had reported an increase in the hours they played, and many talked about their varying views of online friendship and how it had developed throughout the lockdown.

Thesis Title

Social and Gaming Experiences in Online Gaming During Lockdowns: The Benefits and Motivations of Online Gaming