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The surprising effect of video games on your mental health

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Does time spent playing video games affect our mental health positively or negatively?? This is the whole subject of a study recently published in the journal Technology Mind and Behavior. Nick Ballou, a postdoctoral researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute, started with a hypothesis: gaming has no real impact on depression or well-being, anyway. no more than any other activity.

A mixed observation

To see clearly, the authors of this research, which lasted 12 weeks, constituted a panel of 414 players. These players aged over 18 were required to play at least one hour per week on Xbox. They responded every six weeks to a questionnaire measuring their levels of well-being and their depressive symptoms.

To ensure the accuracy of the information, gamers gave access to their game data by accepting researchers as friends. Enough to allow the latter to follow their actual playing times thanks to a Python script which recorded their online status every five minutes, specifies PsyPost.< /p>

Scientists ultimately found no link between time spent gaming and later well-being or risk of depression. Quoted by our colleagues, Nick Ballou underlines:

For most people, most of the time, the time spent playing video games is not a significant factor in well-being. There are people who play a lot and feel good, people who play a little and feel bad, and everything in between.

The benefits of gaming communities

This study therefore stands in contrast to previous research, some of which has shown certain risks of anxiety linked to gaming. Other studies, on the contrary, welcome the benefits of video games for mental health.

We spoke to you in September 2023 about the work carried out by Tyler Prochnow, researcher at the School of Public Health, Texas A&M University, and colleagues. They focused on online gaming communities with one observation: they represent a breath of fresh air for all those suffering from untreated depression problems.

The scientist indeed explained:

The social features of online games allow players to chat privately and form friendships, which can create vital informal support networks. While not a substitute for professional care, these virtual forums could encourage discussion about mental health issues among young men facing social isolation and untreated depression.

If this topic interests you, you can always reread our dedicated article here.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116