Are Video Games Good For Mental Health
Some people believe that video games and online games in general can harm your emotional and mental health. There are many reasons for this: Games can enhance your cognitive abilities, improve your dexterity and develop problem-solving skills, and play skills can be used well in the outside world.
When you play any type of game, such as video games, board games, poker, or online bingo games, you need to focus to work out your game strategy. This level of concentration develops your mental agility and problem-solving skills, as you are forced to think about your next move and figure out how to improve your chances of winning.
The literature establishes links between positive mental well-being and play and illustrates how play is a means of relaxation and stress reduction (Russoniello et al., 2009; Wack and Dunn, 2009; Snodgrass et al., 2011b). The number of games is highlighted as a moderate factor, and studies have shown that not playing video games leads to poor results. Positive emotions contribute to shaping happiness and well-being.
We propose that video games should match the attributes of well-being due to their nature and design elements, and that playing video games provide an opportunity for mental health to flourish. We argue that video game environments promote experiences that help players survive and thrive in life.
As video games become more mainstream, it is likely that more and more scientists will examine the links between games and mental health. The journal Game Health has looked at this topic and a recent paper summarizes the results of several reports focusing on the effects of simple, easy-to-use, casual video games (think Plants vs. Zombies, Bejeweled 2, and Sushi Cat 2) on stress, anxiety, and overall mental health (e.g. Of the 13 studies reviewed, 12 showed positive results from games.
While video games are often poorly received in the media, there is research on violent games, and researchers are beginning to focus on developing and using video games to meet the needs of mental health. Gamification seems to have great potential, but much research is still needed. Researchers in Australia and New Zealand are looking at how serious games and gamification can be for mental health, and the current state of promising approaches is published in Frontiers in Psychiatry. It is important to note that researchers have found few recent examples of games designed in this way.
Video games have been discovered to help people with mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, antisocial personality disorder (APD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and Alzheimer’s. It has also been found that the games can be useful in such cases, as those who play video games develop positive structural changes in the brain.
A recent study of a small group of veterans trying to recover from mental health problems found that video games can help overcome problems such as PTSD and substance abuse disorders. The study involved 20 veterans, 15 men, and five women aged 25 to 62. Most participants said they had more than one recent mental or behavioral health diagnosis, with PTSD and depression being the most common combination. Sixteen of the 20 vets reported PTSD or trauma-related symptoms.
The studies focus on only two games, which means that they cannot draw conclusions about the impact of other genres, games, or platforms. The authors stress that collaborative research is needed to determine whether these two games lead to improved mental well-being.
Previous research relied on self-created surveys to examine the relationship between play and well-being. Professor Andrew Przybylski, the lead author of the study, said: “Without objective data from gaming companies, the proposed advice to parents and policymakers is conducted without the benefit of a solid evidence base.
We have tried to provide much-needed evidence with adequate data. Contrary to previous research that relied on self-reported gaming behavior, we collaborated with two game companies, Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America, to determine players’ actual gaming behavior. We interviewed players from Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons about their well-being, motivation, and need for satisfaction during the game and linked their responses to telemetry data. Contrary to many fears that excessive playing time can lead to addiction and poor mental health, we found a small but positive link between play and affective well-being. The need for satisfaction and motivation during the game were not directly related to playing time, but to well-being.
The researchers hope that this paper will introduce a higher standard of evidence into the discussion about the concept of video game addiction and digital harm in general. Attitudes towards games can influence the mental impact of games. The study juxtaposes the intrinsic pleasure of playing (i.e., having fun) with extrinsic and related behaviors, such as feeling bullied while playing, by other players, or by the mechanics of the game itself.
You may remember that video games have long had a negative stigma imposed on them as a detrimental factor in the development of mental processes in the physical body of players. Many have argued that the violence found in video games suggests that it correlates with the aggression found in real players.
Large feelings of social connection through playing other games are crucial, as friends do not have to meet in person to boost their mood. But many policymakers do not share a positive view of video games. Earlier this year, the UK government announced plans for regulators to protect children from excessive screen time, and the World Health Organisation has identified gambling as a disorder and addictive behavior.