Responding to the call for ‘social distancing’ people around the world engaged in play together via the internet. While these activities could be seen as a diversion, they can also be understood as, along with wearing masks, essential to people surviving the pandemic. This qualitative study explores the experiences of people who participated in Creating Connection and Building Community Through Play, a series of five synchronous improvisational play sessions on Zoom. The sessions averaged 83 people with a total of 287 individuals from 29 countries participating in one or more sessions. Analysis revealed that virtual activities focused on relationality, improvisation and play provided people with connection and community in the midst of isolation, and that co-creating these experiences was emotionally healing for many. The findings advance our understanding of the importance of adult play for building and maintaining emotional health, creating community, and responding to ongoing challenges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- lifespan development