November 27, 2020
Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute argue that time spent playing video games can be good for mental health.
According to the scientists, actual time spent playing was a small but significant positive factor in people’s well-being.
According to the document, the level of entertainment and enjoyment that players get could be an important factor for their well-being.
The video game industry has long been criticized for its lack of transparency about user behaviors.
“Our findings show that video games are not necessarily bad for your health; there are other psychological factors that have a significant effect on people’s well-being, ”said Andrew Przybylski, the institute’s director of research.
“In fact, gaming can be an activity that is positively related to people’s mental health, and the regulation of video games could deprive players of those benefits.”
The sale of video games has exploded this year due to mandatory confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The study collected responses from people who played Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
To begin, the study used data provided by Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America, on how much time respondents spent playing games, as opposed to previous research that relied on imprecise estimates from players.
“The fact that it’s electronic data collected from the devices is very good, it makes it a very objective investigation,” said Paul Croarkin, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota who has studied children’s relationship with video games.
These results question assumptions that video games cause aggression or addiction, but scientists hope to better understand user behaviors to propose advice for parents and policymakers.
“We will need more and better data to get to the heart of the effects of games, for better or for worse, on mental health,” concluded Andrew Przybylski.