Studies made by Oxford University showed that video games are good for mental health. Gamers were put up to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Plants vs Zombies. After playing a certain amount of hours they reported to feel happier.
Many fear that videogames lead to addiction and bad mental health, but au contraire, they have a positive influence on people’s wellbeing.
This is proof that video games contribute to wellbeing, offering experiences of proficiency and social connection, even though people can perform it from the comfort of their home. For gamers, the experiences are more important for the well-being than the amount of time they spend playing. Interaction with new people can make anyone happier and improve the self-esteem. Playing video games increase the ability of teamwork. Everyone play as a team to get to victory. Gaming can also combat self-isolation. Through voice chats, people can talk about all sorts of things and build deep and strong friendships. As an example, my friends and I expanded our circle, bringing new people to meet just to play either Animal Crossing, Call of Duty, Fortnite, or Among Us. Some of us knew each other from reference, others were completely new to the group. During this pandemic time, we played, talked, and knew each other better. I got to know different people and got closer to others.
Gaming can lower stress levels and provide an instant of happiness, making people forget about real life problems for a short time. In the middle of the pandemic people started to buy gaming consoles to help them deal with the loneliness and boredom that brought the lockdown. The game Animal Crossing: New Horizons launched just in time to save people’s sanity, on March 2020, when the pandemic started getting worst. People were in so much need to entertain themselves that the game itself sold around 5 million digital copies.
Players stay indoors and socially interact via web. This promotes the stay home campaign to avoid the spread of the virus and its good for mental health at the same time.
Gaming improves problem solving skills and cognitive abilities. In order to make a good move at a game, people need to concentrate and develop strategies. This expands the mental agility because they are forced to plan the next move. Gamers reactions get sharper in games that require fast response. Gaming is also good for mental alert. There are video games that force players to listen to then execute or make them memorize information, for example locations or something that might be valuable for an episode.
People can also develop the skill to notice small details and the ability of patience and self-control (the later is very much needed, believe me!)
There are video games that also are good for exercising, which is also good for the mind. Games such as Just Dance, help you to be active through fun choreographies.
So next time, when you’re having fun playing video games and someone tells you they can be dangerous, you can spill some facts and tell them that you’re actually becoming smarter and exercising your brain. Plus, you’re being happier!