Video games can positively contribute to players’ well-being: Oxford study

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on November 17, 2020

Time spent playing video games can be positive for one’s well-being, suggests a new study from Oxford University.

As part of the study, researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute analysed the behaviour patterns of players of two video games — Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

They asked 3,274 to complete a survey designed by the researchers “to measure well-being, self-reported play, and motivational experiences during play,” according to an official release.

The survey findings were then analysed alongside objective behavioural data for the survey participants, collected by the video-game companies.

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According to the study, experiencing enjoyment during the game along with competence and social connection with others may positively contribute to people’s well-being.

The experiences that players have while playing may even be more important than the actual amount of time spent on the game and could play a major role in the well-being of players.

“Previous research has relied mainly on self-report surveys to study the relationship between play and wellbeing,” Professor Andrew Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, and lead author of the study, said. “Without objective data from games companies, those proposing advice to parents or policymakers have done so without the benefit of a robust evidence base.”

“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. 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,” Przybylski said.

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Published on November 17, 2020

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