An illustration representing mental health beside a picture of gamers

In the past, video games have acquired a bad reputation, especially among the older generations, for their possible negative influence on people’s behavior. 

However, in recent years, there have been some positive studies linking a person’s cognitive ability and video games. 

Now a new study from Oxford is suggesting video games are also helpful for an individual’s mental health. 

A young kid playing DOTA 2

Playing More Games and Well-Being

The new Oxford research on video games found out there’s a “small positive correlation between gameplay and well-being.” 

The study focused on two games.

One is Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, which has become a craze this year, especially during the lockdown. 

In fact, Nintendo even said its sales increased more than five times from April to June, compared to last year. 

The increase is mainly due to the limited ways people can socialize during the lockdown. 

The other game is EA’s Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville

According to the research, a lot of stakeholders are worried about the effects of video games on people spending a lot of time on it.

Whereas the current Oxford research relied on actual game data and surveys, previous studies are only dependent on “self-reported play behaviour.” 

Thus, they do not have enough data on video games’ correlation with the negative effects of playing. 

The study lets us “explain and understand games as a leisure activity,” said the study’s lead researcher, Andrew Przybylski, per the Guardian. 

Not a Carte Blanche Pass for Games

Although the research is the first of its kind with its use of game data, it does not mean that all video games will hold the same result. 

One is because there are only two games used for the research. 

However, the researchers are hopeful their findings would introduce “a higher standard of evidence” to discussions. 

Not only for video game addiction but also for its possible harmful effects in general, per the Guardian. 


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