Playing Games Doesn’t Make You Crazy Or Bad | Pocket

Video games do not appear to harm the mental health of gamers, according to a recent six-week study conducted by the University of Oxford, UK. The survey of nearly 40,000 gamers is the largest of its kind to date.

When considering various platforms and researching a total of seven games – ranging from the leisurely Animal Crossing: New Horizons to the competitive mobile game Apex Legends – no differences were found in mental health impacts.

Having found “no causal link” between poor mental health and gaming, regardless of the type of game, Oxford Internet Institute lead researcher Professor Andrew K. Przybylski noted a difference between players who engage in games because they want to play and those who feel compelled to do so.

“We found that it didn’t really matter how many players played. It wasn’t the quantity of play, it was the quality that mattered…if they felt they had to play, they felt more badly. If they were playing because they loved it, then the data doesn’t suggest it’s affecting their mental health. It seems to give them a strong positive feeling,” he said.

As well as being a parent, Przybylski grew up playing games himself and cites the need for more research in the field with “large representative samples.” In his own words, “These are just the first steps in the world to understanding how gaming fits into players’ lives. And it seems that why you play is the key factor. It’s a study exciting, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

The report can be found here.

A recent report from Sensor Tower revealed that for the first time ever, mobile apps are generating more revenue than games.

Image credits: University of Oxford

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