Oxford University scholars have found in this kind of first study, which links actual play time data with psychological surveys, that playing video games is actually good for your mental health and well-being.
This study focused on actual play time (not self-reported play time) in two Nintendo titles. Animal Crossing And EA Plants vs. Zombies: Battle of Neighborville. Overall, according to this study, those who played more video games reported greater “happiness” in the survey, correlating with improved mental health for those who played more video games.
Principal Investigator Andrew Pushbilsky said the purpose of this study was to use actual data from video game companies for academic research on video games. This is something that has never been done before. “This is bringing the game into the field of psychological research, not the trash can fire,” says Przybylski. “This allows us to describe and understand the game as a leisure activity. It was a quest to understand if the data collected by the game companies would be vaguely useful for academic and health policy research.”
Przybylski states that it will use real data rather than self-reported data. The study also found that self-reported playtime data was unreliable and tended to inconsistent with actual user data. “”[The study] If you play 4 hours a day Animal Crossing, You are a much happier person, but it’s only interesting because all the other research so far has been done badly. “
They intend to continue their research using this actual game data to better understand the multiple aspects of the game and how it relates to people’s health. “I’m confident that as research progresses, we can learn about what we consider to be toxic in the game, and there’s evidence of that,” Przybylski said.
Some examples cited by the paper are different games and modes (the two games used are family games), and the attitude of the player before entering the game. The fun of “intrinsic” is simply to play the game for fun, while the “extrinsic” is to be pushed into play by others or game mechanics, and these are the whole of playing the game. May affect the benefits of mental health. Przybylski plans to do more research to investigate this aspect of playing the game.
Przybylski says he hopes that Oxford’s research will motivate other studies and use the data actually reported to do better research on games. “You really respect important organizations like the World Health Organization and the NHS and are allocating attention and resources to those that literally don’t have good data. And that’s shocking to me. Think about your stakes. And that’s the reputation risk everyone is taking. They look back, “Hey, this is what 95% of teenagers do? Yeah, it’s addictive, no, we don’t have the data.” , It doesn’t make sense. “
[Source: The Guardian]