A new study from Oxford University has used gameplay data to prove that playing video games is good for your mental health.
A study from Oxford University has indicated that gaming is potentially good for our mental health, where psychological questionnaires established a relationship between higher playtimes and having a greater sense of well-being.
But there is a catch! The study doesn’t use results from a massive library of games. Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville were the only titles used for their experiment.
For this study, the team from the UK university intentionally selected games that weren’t toxic. Both of the games were easy to play and had a calming atmosphere to them. Whilst the test did prove that games could be beneficial to our mental health, this study turned its head away from the reality of many games.
“I’m very confident that if the research goes on, we will learn about the things that we think of as toxic in games, and we will have evidence for those things as well”
From the pre-teen screeching in CS:GO to the salty players in League of Legends, many competitive games are breeding grounds for stress and bad behaviour. Furthermore, there have been studies linking micro-transactions within video games to the development of gambling habits in children.
Luckily these researchers aren’t oblivious to these issues, and we look forward to future results from them.
After all, you can’t help but respect the academic world for taking an interest in video games. By taking playtime data into their study, their work is more than just handing out a bunch of surveys to people. It means that yes, you can proudly say you’ll be a happier person if you play four hours of Animal Crossing a day.