Could Video Games Help With Mental Health?

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Who hasn’t heard the phrase “video games will turn our brains into jelly?”. According to a Pew Research Center survey from 2015, 26% of American adults thought video games were a waste of time. But what if that is not the case?

Experts have shed light on the health benefits of gaming like spider games. That is fantastic news for the growing gaming community, which will have more than 3 billion gamers worldwide by 2022.

A 2020 study discovered a link between happiness and video game play. In collaboration with Nintendo and Electronic Arts, Oxford University compiled play data from Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville to track individuals’ play behaviour before examining their well-being, motivations, and need satisfaction.

Several of the positive effects associated with gaming, according to this and other studies, are attributed to the creation of a sense of personal autonomy for the players.


Mental Well-Being

Stress can be temporarily relieved by playing video games. “I do believe that video games can help people regulate their emotions and mood,” says Hyerim Cho, an assistant professor at the University of Missouri College of Education and Human Development. Cho specialises in information science and pop culture media. During the early days of the pandemic, she found solace in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Time is paced similarly to real life in the game, allowing the player to create routines while customizing their virtual homes and towns. Gamers form relationships with virtual villagers, create outfits, and complete tasks like fishing, pulling weeds, gathering flowers, and catching bugs in nets.

“All of those kinds of activities helped me feel more in control,” Cho says. Virtual order became a source of comfort at a time when many people felt the world was out of control.

Video games that encourage pleasurable engagement, according to Sam Von Gillern, Cho’s colleague whose primary areas of research are digital literacies and game-based learning, can be beneficial to well-being. Video games can induce flow, which he defines as “a mental state in which someone is completely immersed in the moment while performing a specific task.”

A flow state occurs when a person is completely immersed in an enjoyable activity, such as sports or music. Flow, according to the publication Science Alert, can improve self-control, resilience, and concentration — all of which are transferable skills applicable to tasks that require concentration.

Von Gillern believes that the link between well-being and gaming time is all about balance. “Playing indefinitely is not going to be good for your mental health,” he says.

By constantly challenging players, Cognition Gaming has the potential to improve intellectual and emotional skills.

Von Gillern sees gaming as a problem-solving exercise because it requires. The player to engage in critical thinking in order to achieve a goal. He cites a 2021 study published in Communications Biology that supports the ability of certain games. To aid in certain cognitive processes. According to the study, fast-paced action games like Call of Duty and. Half-Life 2 can improve learning rates in new tasks.

Von Gillern concurs that fast-paced games can improve reaction, decision-making, and object-tracking abilities. These types of games can be useful if you are an active person who participates in team sports.


Video games are not inherently antisocial, and many of them have multiplayer functions that help us communicate better.

“It’s allowed me to come up with ideas on the fly and then better relay them to other people.” Nolan Starkey, a competitive Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player for sports organization Repulse Gaming, says.

In 2018, Starkey founded an esports club, which helped him form friendships outside of his social circle. “Normally, I wouldn’t go out of my way to talk to them, and. They wouldn’t go out of their way to talk to me. He explains, “but because we were both gaming, we had something to talk about, and then we developed this relationship.” It just kept going.”

Gaming can be a teacher, an escape, and a social catalyst in addition to being a source of entertainment.


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