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Study finds playing video games can help improve your mental health

By Rory Cashin

November 17, 2020 at 9:52am

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Those who played video games reported a higher level of "wellbeing".

In the same week that the PlayStation 5 is due for release, and a week since the Xbox Series X was made available to Irish players, the results of a study have been revealed, proving that hours of playing video games can actually be beneficial to your mental health.

The study, performed at Oxford University, found that those who played video games reported higher levels of "wellbeing".

Andrew Przybylski, the lead researcher on the project, told The Guardian the following:

"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?"

To be fair, the study only involved two all-ages-friendly video games: Animal Crossing and Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. Still, the results showed "that if you play four hours a day of Animal Crossing, you’re a much happier human being."

How players might feel after playing a few hours of, for example, The Last Of Us Part II... well, that could be a very different story. However, it does fly in the face of what feels like decades of different opinions on gaming.

Przybylski continued: "But that’s only interesting because all of the other research before this is done so badly. You have really respected, important bodies, like the World Health Organisation and the NHS, allocating attention and resources to something that there’s literally no good data on.

"And it’s shocking to me, the reputational risk that everyone’s taking, given the stakes. For them to turn around and be like, 'hey, this thing that 95% of teenagers do? Yeah, that’s addictive, no, we don’t have any data,' that makes no sense."

READ NEXT: Five games you must play on your new Xbox Series X this Christmas

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