Mental Health

U of Oxford Study Says Video Games are ‘good for well-being’

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


Research at the Oxford Internet Institute concentrated on two games: Nintendo’s Animal Crossing and EA’s Plants vs Zombies. In an unprecedented move, game developers exchanged anonymous data about how long each participant had played. These logs were then connected to a survey in which the players answered questions about their well-being. A total of 3,274 players participated.

Nintendo given only playtime data for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
However, EA also shared some data on in-game results inside Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. This included accomplishments, and the emoticons used by the participants to express themselves. The players were also asked how they feel about their experiences. Prof Andrew Przybylski, who led the analysis, said he was shocked at the findings.

The professor called on other game-makers to exchange similar data.
“We need to research more games and more players over time,” he said.

“It would be like encouraging psychologists to research all the playgrounds in the country.

“We might build up the theory of harassment or learn how people are developing new friendships. My hope is that this will stimulate curiosity and cooperation and open data.”

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