According to Oxford University, the answer is yes.
Contrary to popular belief, playing video games could actually have a positive impact on a person's wellbeing.
Scientists at the University of Oxford Internet Institute drew from the research of two games, Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, in order to investigate the correlation between playing video games and mental health.
During the research, a total of 3,274 gamers of Plants vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons were asked to answer a survey on their experiences.
"Video games aren't necessarily bad for your health," director of research Professor Andrew Przybylski explained, "There are other psychological factors which have a significant effect on a person's wellbeing."
It has been the long-held assumption that gaming causes aggression or addiction, and the study has cast doubt on that belief. It was found that, actually the subjective experience you had playing the game had a bigger impact than hours spent on game play itself. However, researchers of the the non-peer reviewed paper admit the study only provides a glimpse of behaviours.
What surprised researchers the most was the lack of information there is concerning online behaviour, “If you play four hours a day of Animal Crossing, you’re a much happier human being, but that’s only interesting because all of the other research before this is done so badly.” Przybylski explained, “You have really respected, important bodies, like the World Health Organization and the NHS, allocating attention and resources to something that there’s literally no good data on. And it’s shocking to me, the reputational risk that everyone’s taking, given the stakes. For them to turn around and be like, ‘hey, this thing that 95% of teenagers do? Yeah, that’s addictive, no, we don’t have any data,’ that makes no sense.”
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