Video Games Help With Mental Health

By Danna Beltran

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A new study from Oxford University, published on November 16, shows that playing video games may have an actual benefit on your mental health. The reason for this study was the increase of video game sales in 2020, most likely caused by the number of people at home due to the pandemic and the limits imposed on public life by many countries.

 Courtesy of Dualshockers

 

There are now many different ways to tap into the vast worlds that many video games have to offer. 

 

The study involved taking surveys from people who played two games: Plant vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The results showed that the level of enjoyment players got from a game could potentially be a more important factor for their overall well-being. This, of course, counters the argument that has been closely tied to playing video games for years. The old argument states that video games cause players to become aggressive or develop an addiction to the game. Andrew Przybylski, Oxford’s director of research, explained that: “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,”  he also added that “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.” 


The researchers surveyed a total of 2,756 players for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, along with 518 for Plant vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville, with the participants being from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. This study brought to light certain issues in the video game industry as well, the lack of transparency from game makers has been a long time issue for scientists hoping to get a better understanding of the players’ behavior when playing certain games. However, this study does prove one thing, and that is that some games, although known for having a rough reputation, can actually benefit you in ways not visible to the naked eye.