A recent study out of the University of Oxford has concluded that gaming is good for mental health. Now this study wasn’t very large scale so you have to take that for what it is.
The study was based around two popular games in “Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville” and “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” It’s important to look at what type of games these actually are, most gamers would consider these casual games. I only point this out to make the study clear, I do not believe that it affects the study in a negative way as I still would buy into gaming as a whole being good for mental health.
The study found that time spent playing videos games was associated with being happier. The researchers also did not explicitly say that increased playtime increased the happiness. I personally believe there is a balance within the two just like with everything else in the world.
“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,” Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute and the study’s lead author, said.”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.”
The game developers and researchers actually shared data to help give a better idea of what the true outcome is, as generally player reports are often not very accurate based on bias. Hopefully in the future more developers will help with these study’s so we get a better idea of gaming as a whole. I think with seeing a positive take away from this study will probably lend to more openness to cooperate in the future.
Overall when looking at the study it’s important to remember you have to take it for what it is. There were only two games in the study with around 3,200 players as well. We gamers know the diversity that is the gaming world. With many different types of games and many different types of people the answer is bound to change to at least some degree. It’s also important to ask yourself are you having fun with this game, and if you’re not don’t play it. Gaming is supposed to be a getaway if you’re not enjoying it the way you want to change the environment.
Hopefully, the thought that gaming is good for mental health will be a more widespread thought in future years and we as gamers have a lot of impact on making that come true. Let us know what games you think are better for mental health and which are not. Also, be sure to check out the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros that Nintendo has just released.