Playing video games is good for your mental health, new research suggests.
Nintendo’s Animal Crossing and Plants vs Zombies: The Battle for Neighborville by Electronic Arts, according to a study by the team at Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute.
Essentially, it included data from game makers on how long each participant played video games rather than estimates.
This information is linked to a survey in which gamers were asked how they felt about their experiences.
The team found that the real time people spent playing was a small but significant positive factor in people’s well-being.
These findings cast some doubt on the long-held assumptions that gaming causes aggression or intoxication – the researchers of the non-peer reviewed paper agreed that this study provides only a snapshot.
They also said that a player’s subjective experiences during the game can be a bigger factor in well-being than just game time.
Previous research has relied mainly on self-report surveys to study the relationship between sports and well-being.
Professor Andrew Presipilski, the study’s lead author, said: “Without the objective data of sports organizations, those who make suggestions to parents or policymakers would have done so without the benefit of a strong resource base.
“Our findings show that video games are not bad for your health; there are other psychological factors that can have a significant impact on a person’s well-being.
“In fact, sports can be an activity that is positively related to people’s mental health – and regulating video games may prevent those benefits from being passed on to players.”
He added: “By accessing the data on the time people play, we were able to investigate for the first time the relationship between actual sports behavior and subjective well-being, enabling us to provide a template for designing high-quality evidence to support health. Policymakers.”
A total of 3,274 athletes participated in the study.
The research was supported by grants from the Hu Family Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council.