Video games 'good for well-being'-Oxford study

Video games

People who play video games for long periods of time tend to report feeling happier than those who do not, a study has indicated.

The Oxford Internet Institute research focused on two games: Nintendo's Animal Crossing and EA's Plants vs Zombies.

In an unusual step, the developers of the games shared anonymised data about how long each participant had played.

These logs were then linked to a survey in which the players answered questions about their well-being.

A total of 3,274 gamers took part. All were over 18.

In previous research, data gathered about the duration of subjects' gaming sessions was based on self-reported "guesstimates", which can be inaccurate.

Surprising findings

Nintendo solely provided data on playing times in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

But EA also shared some data about in-game performance within Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. This included achievements, and the emoticons the participants had used to express themselves.

The gamers were also asked how they felt about their experiences.

Prof Andrew Przybylski, who led the study, said he was surprised by the results.

"If you play Animal Crossing for four hours a day, every single day, you're likely to say you feel significantly happier than someone who doesn't," he said.

"That doesn't mean Animal Crossing by itself makes you happy."

But, he added, 40 years of previous research had suggested the longer people played, the more unhappy they said they were.

Prof Andrew Przybylski, who led the study, said he was surprised by the results.

"If you play Animal Crossing for four hours a day, every single day, you're likely to say you feel significantly happier than someone who doesn't," he said.

"That doesn't mean Animal Crossing by itself makes you happy."

But, he added, 40 years of previous research had suggested the longer people played, the more unhappy they said they were.

Source:
BBC