Are Video Games Good For Your Mental Health?
If I ask you, “Are video games good for your mental health or not?” what will be your response to it?
Well, looking back at the research findings and what our elders have always been telling us for ages, your answer is likely to be a big “NO.” Which is usual and expected. But recent mental health research has something else to suggest, and we are here to share this news with you.
We bet this good news will leave you feeling happy. Before looking at the relationship between video games and mental as this new finding has suggested, let us see some interesting facts on the same.
- Video games are one of the most preferred leisure-time activities (with more than two and a half billion users worldwide).
- Just 0.3% of gamers are likely to experience problems controlling the time spent playing video games.
- Too much time spent playing video games can result in gaming addiction which if not taken care of may result in gaming disorder. Gaming disorder is a health condition where an individual prioritizes games over other life activities for more than 12 months (WHO).
- Amid the lockdown, there has been a surge in the number of video game sales around the world.
The last fact was the inspiration behind this research that was conducted by Oxford University. The paper was released on the 16th of November, 2020. The mental health news broke the internet as it suggested that yes Video Games Are Good For Your Mental Health!
But how? Let us find out.
“The experiences during play may be even more important than the actual amount of time a player invests in games and could play a major role in the well-being of players,”
Professor Andrew Przybylski, the lead author of the study said.
The key findings from this mental health research are:
- The actual amount of time spent playing was a small but significant positive factor in people’s well-being.
- Subjective experiences of the player during play also influence well-being more than playtime alone.
- The level of enjoyment a player got from playing a game was a more crucial factor for their well-being (then playing time alone).
“The study suggests that experiences of competence and social connection with others through play may contribute to people’s well-being. Indeed, those who derived enjoyment from playing were more likely to report experiencing positive well-being” (Professor Andy Przybylski, Author of the study)
But at the same time this mental health news update doesn’t give a green flag to the phrases “all video games are good for you” and “all players benefit from video games.” Rather, it is the first step towards looking at gaming in a new light. It is just the beginning for the new wave to swipe in.
Another set of study conducted by researchers at University of Geneva identified healthy video gaming and mental health benefits (when used optimally). The time suggested by the study was 20 Min/Day for 2 months. The benefits of video games for brain included:
- Sharper memory.
- Better fine motor skills.
- Improved strategic planning.
- An increased sense of satisfaction.
- Better creativity and problem-solving skills.
Now it is time for us to stop looking at video games as our guilty pleasure and use them in moderation. Because remember addiction is the negative end of pleasures that we don’t fall to be trapped in. Make sure you enjoy the game that you play.
So, if next time someone asks you are video games good for you and your brain? Say- Yes and share this article with them and help them broader their vision and fill the knowledge jar.
P.S: Which video game is your favorite? Share it with us in the comments section. You might just end up finding a new gaming gang for yourself.