Animal Companions and Gaming

Animal Companions may affect our lives more than we realize at first glance. The dynamic world of gaming and esports, with its rapidly expanding influence, is no longer confined to entertainment; it has become a cultural phenomenon that shapes how we connect, compete, and create. Amid this evolution, an unexpected but heartwarming trend has emerged—the integration of pets into the gaming and esports scene. Far from being mere observers, these beloved companions have woven themselves into the fabric of this realm, offering multifaceted contributions that extend far beyond their adorable appearances. In this article, we delve into the remarkable significance of pets in the gaming and esports landscape, exploring their impact on mental well-being, community dynamics, viral trends, performance optimization, and even diversity and representation.

Since I have Aranna with me, things, days, my life and my wife’s life have been much happier. Aranna came at a time when we were both going through painful things, that year, my wife had a miscarriage and Aranna came to erase some of that pain. She has been our companion while I do streaming, while my wife works with her community, and accompanies every moment of our lives. Playing video games can be frustrating at times and Aranna knows when this happens to me and somehow tries to make me feel better. We know she is not and will not be around forever and although she will eventually not be with us, we are certainly making the most of every moment we are with her.

Soya and his animal companion

She is the reason why I wrote this post, Hunter being my main class within Hearthstone, my affinity towards animals, in general, is quite strong. I believe that animal companions positively influence our lives, whether it be a dog, cat, parrot, or fish, animals tend to make us grateful to those we have and these lines are a way to pay tribute to them and let us know the benefits they bring to the world of gamers.

1. Mental Well-being: Paw-sitive Effects in Virtual Realms

The realm of competitive gaming and esports can be a pressure cooker of stress and high expectations. Enter pets, the furry champions of mental well-being. Citing the “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” (2020), research has shown that interacting with pets can result in reduced cortisol levels—a key indicator of stress. Dr. John Williams, a leading authority from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, accentuates the emotional refuge that pets offer in intense gaming scenarios, highlighting the unconditional support and companionship they provide (Source 1).

2. Fostering Connections and Forging Bonds

In a digitized universe, where connections can feel ephemeral, pets emerge as powerful agents of connection. Their presence during live streams and esports events serves as a universal language, transcending geographical boundaries and sparking conversations. Dr. Jamie Madigan, a renowned expert in the psychology of video games, underscores the role of pets as social catalysts, facilitating interactions and camaraderie among players and viewers who might otherwise remain strangers (Source 2).

3. Viral Phenomena: Pets as the Heart of Internet Culture

In the age of social media, pets are not just adorable companions; they are the stars of viral content. Seamlessly integrated into gaming and esports narratives, these furry co-stars add an element of relatability that resonates across platforms. Hootsuite’s research emphasizes that animal-centered content enjoys higher engagement rates, tapping into the shared joy that pets evoke (Source 3). Furry icons like Japanda, and the Shiba Inu often seen alongside streamer Pokimane, showcase the potential of pets to evolve into cherished digital icons, uniting fan communities.

4. Elevated Performance Through Stress Reduction

As esports professionals strive for peak performance, pets prove to be unlikely allies in this endeavor. Surprisingly, these four-legged companions have the power to mitigate stress levels, contributing to a player’s ability to maintain composure during high-stakes competitions. A recent study published in the “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” (2021) unveils a correlation between pet interactions and lowered heart rates and blood pressure—crucial indicators of stress reduction. This suggests that the presence of pets cultivates a tranquil mindset, vital for achieving consistent peak performance in the heat of gaming sessions (Source 4).

5. Pioneers of Diversity and Inclusion

In a realm where diversity and representation are paramount, pets play a surprising role in fostering inclusivity. Beyond language barriers, cultural divides, and geographical distances, the mutual adoration for pets acts as a unifying force. The integration of pets within gaming content serves as a testament to the industry’s commitment to diverse representation, embracing a wider range of perspectives and experiences.


Beyond the screens, codes, and pixels, pets have entrenched themselves as indelible assets in the gaming and esports universe. As substantiated by reputable sources and industry experts, these companions enhance mental well-being, nurture communities, and even elevate player performance through stress alleviation. Their capacity to transcend language barriers and cultural differences introduces a refreshing layer of inclusivity. This fusion of pets and the gaming world isn’t a fad; it’s a symbiotic connection that brings solace, fellowship, and even a touch of stardom to those navigating the virtual landscapes of gaming and esports.


“The Health Benefits of Pets” – University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

“The Psychology of Video Games” – Dr. Jamie Madigan

“Why Do People Love Pets on Social Media?” – Hootsuite

“Effects of Human-Animal Interaction on Salivary Oxytocin Concentrations and Heart Rate Variability Measures in University Students” – International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2021)

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