According to a new study by researchers at Oxford University, time spent playing video games can be good for mental health. The finding comes as video game sales have boomed this year. The sales boomed as more people are working from home due to the pandemic.
Responses from people who played two games
The report is based on the responses from the people who have played both games. These two games are Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
Imprecise estimates from the players
The study used the data in a first given by the game makers, electronics arts and Nintendo of America. This data was on how much time the respondents spent playing. However, previous research was based on imprecise estimates from the players.
Also, the findings by the researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute reveal that the actual amount of time spent on playing the game is small. But it is a significant positive factor in an individual’s well being.
However, the paper said that the level of enjoyment is more important for well being when comparing to the playing time.Though the authors acknowledge they are only a snapshot, the result could cast doubt on long assumptions that playing game causes aggression or addiction.
Playing video games isn’t necessarily bad for health
Andrew Przybylski, the institute’s director of research said, “Our findings show video games aren’t necessarily bad for your health. Moreover, there are other psychological factors which have a significant effect on an individual’s well being. Play can be an activity in fact. It relates positivity to an individual’s mental health. Regulating video games could withhold those benefits from players”.
Survey on players
The study uses telemetry data and survey. Along with 518 players of Plants vs Zombies, around 2,756 players of Animal Crossing: New Horizons were surveyed. The players belong to the United States, United Kingdom and Canada. On the experience that was matched up against playing time logged by the game companies, the respondents were asked to fill out a survey.
Plants vs Zombies surveys were held in August. While Animal crossing survey was held in October.