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‘I wasn’t me, grieving in my room. I was Spiderman’: Gaming, Loss and Self-Care following COVID-19

Spokes, Matthew ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6456-3879, Denham, Jack ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2539-8292, Coward-Gibbs, Matt ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5982-7630 and Veal, Caitlin ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5394-2881 (2024) ‘I wasn’t me, grieving in my room. I was Spiderman’: Gaming, Loss and Self-Care following COVID-19. Mortality.

I wasn t me grieving in my room. I was spiderman gaming loss and self-care following COVID-19.pdf - Published Version
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Building on Stroebe and Schut’s (1999) ‘dual process model’ (DPM), this paper draws on data from a survey of young people who identify as regular gamers (n=450) and semi-structured follow-up interviews (n=20) to understand video games as a form of self-care, and the positive and problematic encounters gamers experience in relation to immersion and escapism. The work is situated in relation to game/leisure studies, and extant research on different types of loss (bereavement; social opportunities; employment). We argue that, during the COVID-19 pandemic, self-reported responses to play function as a form of oscillation between ‘loss’ and ‘restoration’ in the DPM, and that the act of play and its post-hoc rationalization is a crucial form of coping for young people, and an opportunity for meaning-making whilst grieving. Our contribution is to demonstrate how video games can and should be considered as a catalyst for grief management.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13576275.2024.2315961
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
School/Department: York Business School
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/8886

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