Main image via VG247.com + Sarasota Magazine
If you absolutely love playing video games and find yourself doing so whenever you have some free time, then we’ve got good news for you.
A new study has found that gaming is actually good for an individual’s mental health.
In case you show this to your mum and she scoffs at it, this study was actually conducted by a team at Oxford University.
Focusing on people who are playing Nintendo’s Animal Crossing and EA’s Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, the researchers found that those who played more games, expressed that they were experiencing greater wellbeing.
This study is the first of its kind to use play-time data by the university team, linking up psychological questionnaires with true records of time spent playing games.
“This is about bringing games into the fold of psychological research that’s not a dumpster fire,” lead researcher Andrew Przybylski shared. “This let us explain and understand games as a leisure activity.”
“It was a quest to figure out – is data collected by gaming companies vaguely useful for academic and health policy research?”
He went on to note that he was surprised with how little data there was on gaming, and how the limited hard data that there was, hadn’t really been used in any studies into its positive or negative effects.
In the new study, Andrew and his team found that four hours of Animal Crossing made people much happier. He described the previous research on gaming and wellbeing as being done “badly”.
While this study shows that there are indeed benefits to gaming, the lead researchers believes that as they conduct more research, more of the harmful effects will also be discovered.
“I’m very confident that if the research goes on, we will learn about the things that we think of as toxic in games,” he said. He added that they will have evidence for this.
“You have really respected, important bodies, like the World Health Organisation and the NHS, allocating attention and resources to something that there’s literally no good data on,” Andrew shared to The Guardian.
“And it’s shocking to me, the reputational risk that everyone’s taking, given the stakes. For them to turn around and be like, ‘hey, this thing that 95% of teenagers do? Yeah, that’s addictive, no, we don’t have any data,’ that makes no sense.”
The lead researcher also shared that he views previous data on the topic as poor. He hopes this study will help with discussions around video game addiction and more.
Well, if playing video games can help you feel better, we’ll give it a try!
Are you a gamer? What's your favourite game? Do you feel better when you’re playing? Share your thoughts with us
Info via UNILAD