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Video games, Pornhub, and creating Only Fans content: how the UK coped during lockdown

In brief: In another example of how much video games benefit the world, a new report reveals that more than half of the UK played them to cope with last year’s lockdown. It seems watching and making pornography was also a popular way of passing the time while locked indoors.

UK communications regulator Ofcom’s latest Online Nation report shows that 62% of UK adults and 92% of 16 to 24-year-olds spent time playing video games during 2020. More than half said the activity helped them get through the country’s various Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

Phones were the most popular way of playing games, having been used by 39% of all UK adults, with the mobile version of Among Us highlighted as being downloaded over 11 million times in the UK in four months. TV-connected console gaming was the next most common platform, followed by computers. Interestingly, half of all 16 to 64-year-old gamers in the country said they only play free-to-play titles.

Three-quarters of 5 to 15-year-olds played online games in 2020, with Roblox, Minecraft, and Fortnite the most popular titles. Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto Online, and Rainbow Six Siege were also played often by this age group, despite their 18+ rating.

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The report suggests many people turned to pornography to help them through the pandemic—lucky that the “no touching other people” rule didn’t extend to oneself. Half the UK’s adult population watched online porn last year, with 26 million people viewing the material in September alone.

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Pornhub was the most popular adult site with 15 million visitors—50% of men, and 16% of women, with internet access. The average visitor spent 10 minutes and 20 seconds on the site.

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OnlyFans is also gaining more viewers and content, with some people turning to the site as a way of generating income in the face of rising unemployment and financial uncertainty. OF, which operates an 80:20 creator/platform split in revenue share, saw a 75% increase in new content creators in May 2020.

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