Oxford Research Claims Video Games Can Help in Positive Mental Health

A new study by researchers at Oxford Internet Institute revealed that video games aren’t bad for health, after all. This clashes with the earlier studies claiming video games make players addicted and depressed. Instead, the new research based on subjective players’ response shows that playing video games can be good for their well-being.

Video Games are Actually Helpful

Contrary to the past studies claiming that playing video games can cause mental instability, a new report by Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, says the opposite. His research made on more than 3,000 players in the over countries have positive results showing up.

The research is being called one of a kind since it doesn’t take the base inputs like how much time is spent playing from the players.

Instead, the researchers have tied up with Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America to get the actual peoples’ playing time. And the games chosen to study are Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Research results on graph
Research results on the graph

The study group was about 3,274 players based in the USA and UK. These are divided as per games, with 518 players playing Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and 2,756 players playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons. And it resulted in “those who derived enjoyment from playing were more likely to report experiencing positive wellbeing.”

This research is boiled down to four key results, as noted by researchers;

  1. Players experiencing genuine enjoyment from the games experience more positive well-being.
  2. The actual amount of time spent playing was a small but significant positive factor in people’s wellbeing.
  3. Findings align with past research suggesting people whose psychological needs weren’t being met in the ‘real world’ might report negative well-being from play.
  4. A player’s subjective experiences during play might be a bigger factor for wellbeing than mere playtime.

Andrew Przybylski, the lead of this research, said, “Our findings show video games aren’t necessarily bad for your health; there are other psychological factors which have a significant effect on a persons’ 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.” Read more about this study here.

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