#PlayApartTogether – Professor Daniel Johnson, QUT



Recognising we all have a role to play in flattening the curve and stopping the spread of COVID-19, IGEA is talking to our many industry stakeholders about the entertainment they are consuming and how they are practising self-isolation and social distancing.  We know many of our connections love digital games and we love to seeing what they are playing, what they recommend playing and if they have any tips or resources to share with the community as they #PlayApartTogether during
these unusual times

Recently we spoke with Professor Daniel Johnson from QUT for our #PlayApartTogether series.


What tasks are you undertaking to keep yourself (and/or your family) occupied during these times of self-isolation, and physical and social distancing?

We’ve had a surreal and hilarious time undertaking our gym classes in the garage via zoom – highlights have included tripping over the dogs and nearly launching a dumbbell into the car 😊 Lots of long walks with the dogs on the floating boardwalk here in Brisbane – though some days you need to be pretty agile to maintain the recommended social distance. We’ve also had a couple of good nights playing the videogame “You don’t know Jack” with friends while chatting on zoom.

 Why these particular activities?

Combination of keeping fit (need those endorphins), getting some time outside and staying connected with friends.

 What games are you playing?

 I’ve been playing COD (badly) to stay connected with my mates in the US and some co-op VR (Gunheart and Arizona Sunshine) with some friends who live closer by. For winding down on my own I’ve been working my way through the Doom Eternal campaign and having my mind blown in Half Life Alyx!!

Do you play games alone or with others?

I need both to stay sane. Lots of connecting with friends but some nights I also just need some downtime and a chance to reset.

What games are your family playing?

My partner Nicole has been enjoying some party games (you don’t know jack) and occasionally I can tempt her into playing some pinball with me. She really liked the VR boxing game (Creed) but came very close to doing structural damage to our home in a moment of extreme enthusiasm 😊

Are there any games you recommend?

All of them. Seriously. Right now we need safe ways to connect with one another and to be immersed and feel joy. Videogame are such a fantastic way look after our wellbeing (even more than normal, right now).

What resources do you recommend to assist parents and carers manage and monitor game play for their children?

First and foremost, play with them as much as possible. It’s a chance to connect and a great way to keep an eye on what they are playing. I’d say more than focussing on the number of hours being played, keep an eye on making sure children don’t accidentally over do it and move from relaxed and enjoyable engagement to starting to feel compelled/fixated. Its an easier thing for us to judge as adults and one of the key skills we need to our kids learn is self-regulation – taking a moment to be mindful of how the game is making me feel right now. Moving forward, we’re going to be producing some resources on this very topic at the Centre of Excellence for the Digital Child – stay tuned!

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