According to new research from Oxford University, playing video games can be good for your mental health.
Before I start, I want to point out that Video Game addiction or Gaming Disorder is a real thing, just like alcohol, food, and drugs. If you’re doing it excessively and it’s negatively affecting your life, it can be linked to a disorder, and please seek help.
During the Pandemic, more and more people started playing video games, with one of the most popular being Animal Crossing New Horizon. The reason is that due to the lockdowns around the world, most people are stuck indoors at home, since we are social creatures, the most fun way to connect is through video games.
Of course, some self-proclaimed Facebook scholars out there will say that this will be the worst thing that can happen to our human society because video games are the essence of all violence and are the DEVIL! Shh…Shh…calm down, calm down… Alright back to the article.
What actually happened was quite the opposite, it turned out that most people had a positive impact on their mental help thanks to gaming. It makes them feel happier. So researchers at Oxford decided to do a more deep dive into this and began a new kind of study. Instead of collecting data by asking gamers to usual (might I sat boring) questions about “what games do you play and how much time do you spend gaming”. They used actual data that is already available and found out the two most played video games during the pandemic. And these are, drum roll, please…Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons… tadaaaa!
The study suggests that the online experiences a player gets through social connection with others and those who gained enjoyment from playing were more likely to report experiencing positive wellbeing.
These experiences may be even more important than the actual amount of time a player invests in games and could benefit the well-being of players.
According to Professor Andrew Przybylski, the lead author of the study, previous studies have relied way too much on self-report surveys without any objective data from gaming companies nor the benefit of a strong evidence base.
“Our findings show video games aren’t necessarily bad for your health; there are other psychological factors which have a significant effect on a person’s well-being. In fact, play can be an activity that relates positively to people’s mental health – and regulating video games could withhold those benefits from players.“
In conclusion to the study, people used to play video games, for fun and escape the sometimes harsh reality of the real world. Now they play games to connect, to work with each other by completing virtual tasks in a game. Gaming can make a person feel fulfilled and happy, it can be used as a coping mechanism and now most importantly to connect with each other. And again, NO, video games do not cause violence.
If you want to read more about this study, click this handy link below