Video games continue to get support from research
By Bob Garcia
The latest indicates that playing video games improves mental health
The myth that playing violent video games leads to violence was busted a while ago, and a recent study added more positive benefits to gameplay. Researchers found that playing certain video games helped in post-op recovery, and there is now more science showing additional benefits to games. Researchers have determined that playing video games can actually improve mental health.
Oxford University researchers conducted a study that playing certain video games makes people happier. The study was limited in scope, based only on two video games rated E, but could lead to additional research to explore how effective gameplay is to mental health. Lead researcher Andrew Przybylski asserts, “This is about bringing games into the fold of psychology research that’s not a dumpster fire. This lets us explain and understand games as a leisure activity. It was a quest to figure out, is data collected by gaming companies vaguely useful for academic and health policy research?”
The two games used were Animal Crossing and Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. Researchers analyzed data from players and had them complete questionnaires to record the results. The study revealed that just by playing “four hours a day of Animal Crossing, you’re a much happier human being, but that’s only interesting because all of the other research before this is done so badly. With additional research, Przybylski believes that “we will learn about the things that we think of as toxic in games” with evidence to back those assertions up.