A new study has shown that playing video games can have a positive impact on mental health. Contrary to popular belief that video games can be detrimental to mental health, the research conducted by the University of Oxford found that video games can support mental well-being and psychological functioning.
The study surveyed over 3,000 gamers and non-gamers, assessing their well-being and social functionality. The results indicated that those who played video games experienced greater levels of happiness, relaxation, and social connection. Participants also reported lower levels of anxiety and depression compared to those who did not play video games.
The study also found that the sweet spot of gaming time was around one hour per day. Longer periods of gaming did not result in increased benefits, and in fact, participants who played for more than three hours a day showed a decline in their mental well-being.
Dr. Andrew Przybylski, the lead researcher of the study, emphasized the importance of considering video games as a potential tool for supporting mental health. He stated, ‘People who play video games can actually feel better after playing, whereas those who have a lot of social media interactions or watch a lot of TV can actually feel worse.’
This study opens the door for discussions on how video games can be utilized in mental health treatment and support. While the findings are not a cure-all, they do offer an exciting possibility to transform video games from mere entertainment to agents of change in mental wellness.