Sorry folks, but there’s “little to no evidence” that gaming is good for you after all. A new study – which contradicts a similar report in 2020 – claims that the average player would need to play for at least 10 hours more per day to notice any difference to their well-being. This – according to the report which surveyed 39,000 players – is measured based on life satisfaction and emotions, such as happiness, sadness, anger, and frustration.
The previous study, conducted by the same Oxford research group two years ago, suggested that those who played games for longer were happier. But this has now been discredited by a much larger report, surveying a greater number of players. “Contrary to what we might think about games being good or bad for us, we found pretty conclusive evidence that how much you play doesn't really have any bearing whatsoever on changes in well-being,” said Professor Andrew Przybylski.
Players contributed six weeks of data to form the analysis, with games such as Gran Turismo Sport, The Crew 2, Apex Legends, and various others – like Animal Crossing – included in the study. It’s an interesting outcome, although we’d argue “well-being” is a nebulous thing in itself. Many people play video games to relax and unwind in their spare time, and there are very clear and obvious mental health benefits to this.
Having said that, there’s no question FIFA Ultimate Team has a negative impact on our mental health. What kind of role do you think gaming has on your overall well-being? Feel better in the comments section below.
Guess I'm adding 10 hours gaming time. Is that weekly? Monthly?
Not sure I can do daily, tbh
There a lot of things that too much of is not good for you. Games are good as part of a well balanced diet.
Gaming is the same as anything - Too much is bad, the right amount is good.
Like it says in the article, I play my games to unwind and forget about the day. There are absolutely benefits to this.
Other people will punch a bag or go for a run.
It's just down to what you love doing.
Depends what game is it.
Stray makes me feel relaxed, Demon Souls on the other hand... Love both games btw.
I agree though, just the act of sitting down with entertainment you like, even if it's a challenging game for instance, makes a big positive difference to your overall mental health for sure.
I've never taken these types of studies seriously. It's just a hobby. There isn't much to analyze it is just a recreational activity like any other. Plus these folks have clearly never played Ring Fit on Switch. Trust me that game will kick your *** into shape real quick!😄
Gaming helps me get through my day
BS, even a 30 minute stint of GOW makes me happier
Gaming helps me cope with this day and age we call life.
Well, if the study group is playing games like Apex Legends and Animal Crossing, of course they’re not going to see any benefit. I’m surprised they didn’t actually see a decline in mental health and wellness with stuff like that.
@Shepherd_Tallon Agreed. Though punching a bag or going for a run definitely DOES have other tangible health benefits for a longer life.
Same rule as anything really, everything in moderation. Now if only I could follow that one simple rule....
I do play 10 hours a day 😁
@themightyant Very true.
Personally I use a rowing machine and do minor exercises at the start and the end of the day. But that's it.
But my main forms of stress relief are games, books and movies. In that order of priority.
And sometimes whiskey 🥃
Quite frankly, I used to game a lot when my life sucked. It was a way to escape from reality. Since my career improved, my salary increased, and I found a wonderful partner, my gaming time has greatly decreased. I only have time for exceptional (imo) games, like Spiderman and God of War.
Any game not capitalizing on my basic instincts to play mindlessly for hours is a game I'm ready to lose myself in, to mention death stranding for example, I want my video games to be like those powerful psychedelic experiences, the likes that open up a whole new dimension of perception to your life.
@Abdessgal going to throw Returnal into that hat
@Shepherd_Tallon Sounds like a great balance!
Especially the occasional whisky
Study based on mostly multiplayer games is irrelevant...
Games are like virtual books.
Gaming also isn't bad for you. I guess it just comes down to personal preference in terms of what people like to do in their spare time.
@Shepherd_Tallon And the most annoying thing is that they need a study for that. 🤪
@naruball That not so weird you just hage less time and spending time on your partner and your job that i guess you is always a good thing.
Pretty sure outside influences have a bigger impact on well being and happiness. With global pandemics, economic free fall and war going on I for one am glad gaming exists as a distraction
You've quoted "how much you play doesn't really have any bearing whatsoever on changes in well-being".
It's quite a leap from "how much you play" to "little to no evidence that gaming is good for you", imo.
First one is the length of the activity, which was the point of the study, the second one is weather you engage in that activity or not at all...
On the other hand, they should have tried removing the games from a gamer's life, and then study the emotional impact :--)
Joking aside, gaming is good to disconnect the mind from the daily routine and problems.
A few hours of gaming a day is quite enough for the mind to do a getaway to a different "environment". Playing for longer periods than that will not relax you even more, you're more likely to get tired than happier.
The best impact in a good way on your emotional state is balance.
Don't work too much every day, respect your free time. But do work, because you'll find it rewarding in the long run especially if you practice something you like
In your free time combine some gaming, with some physical activity either outdoors or inside.
Eat healthy food most of the time, with some junk food every now and then (it may not be good for the body, but taken in rare and small quantities, it's definitely good for the mind and soul).
Get some time for yourself, but also make the "gift of time" to your partner, family and friends.
Read a book from time to time, but don't forget to socialize when you can (go to events, even if they are just gaming related, join some friends for lunch, throw or go to a party etc).
When I sit down of an evening in front of the TV, I prefer to game rather than passively stare at a screen. I play more than I watch. Usually a couple of hours most evenings. Mostly Outriders recently. I enjoy the co-op. Used to be Destiny until it became too pompous for its own good. I find Outriders to be better balanced all round with more interesting weapon/outfits and mods. I was sceptical about the recent 'worldslayer' DLC but it's worth every penny and minute of investment.
@naruball Thats nice to hear, Im happy things turned around for you.
I knew my wife for a decade as one of those that would hang out at my pad and have long gaming sessions, and by the time we married Id been a games dev for a long time, so im fortunate that gaming is an interest we share together and ive never had to cut back!
Someone might say 'get a life', but im now in my late 50s and ive been a dedicated gamer since space invaders arrived when I was 15, so games has been my life!
I do feel games help contribute to my overall well being, I need the escapism 😂
any hobby can be good for you if you get something in life from it like , recognition ( content creator , E-$ports , connecting with people , making money ) or health benefits ( exercising/playing sports ) .
otherwise it’s just abusing a pass time , that’s how i see it .
But the study isn't really saying so, that headline is just exaggerating. Behave PushSquare. Anyway I found that I don't really enjoy games when I'm single but rather when I'm in a relationship and then vice versa, don't enjoy dating when I'm not getting games. 😁 Feels like I need the 2 same time.
It's a refreshing change to see you acknowledge the badness of FUT, Sammy, and appreciated.
With regards to whether gaming is beneficial in a wider sense, it surely differs. We know ganing addiction is a thing which is undoubtedly a sign that it is possible to have a relationship with gaming that can actively, negatively impact one's mental health, and the aforementioned emphasis on manipulating money out of certain people is obviously bad for people.
But any hobby can have the ability to provide a safe space and an escape from a harsh reality. For many, gaming is also a social activity that can be enjoyed both in person or remotely with others, and can lead to the formation of new friendships for some. Having a good support network is vital for wellbeing and I dont think this study takes this into account.
There is no one answer to this riddle and so I'm dubious about any study offering a supposedly definitive answer one way or the other.
I suppose it's just one of those things, gaming can be beneficial providing it doesn't take over your life.
I balance it with music, books, meditation, dog walks, horse riding, I game alone, I game with my kid, I go online with the old man.
If it was my main or only hobby then I could see how it could very quickly become problematic.
That said I also see how it could help people in a bad place to get a break from whatever is causing them pain or hurt in their lives, as @naruball mentioned above. Glad things have taken a better turn for you, never nice to hear of someone struggling.
As with everything, there are pros and cons.
They're useful to me to give me something to focus on other than news and politics. I probably spend more time on gaming news than actually playing, which is fine. Focusing on some positive distraction part of the day is part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
How could it be good for you?
Sitting in front of a screen at home instead of moving around and doing stuff outside is of course not going to be good for anyone except bubble boy.
Same with sitting in front of a TV just watching shows.
It's fun sure; but not good for anyone.
10hrs per what?
Maybe don't put much stock in what others say? Those calling themselves academics have lost massive amounts of credibility.
Do you want to play games? Do they make you happy? If you can play them and have them not interfere with your family life, work, finances and general hygiene... then play them.
This is a poor interpretation of what the cited articles and studies are saying.
Between "gaming ISN'T good for you after all", "little to no evidence that gaming IS good for you" and "HOW MUCH you play doesn't really have any bearing whatsoever" is quite a difference in terms of statement. All congregated under a clickbate headline (IMHO). First the P5 royal thrashing and now this? Come on guys, you can do better. (Again this is entirely based on my opinion). Don't want to upset anyone, really love pushsquare!
I mean, cake isn't physically good for you either...doesn't stop me. The mental benefits (of gaming AND cake) in my life far outweigh any perceived research.
I been playing video games since the 1980s.my first video game console was atari.and i been a fan since then.back then i play it because it was fun and addictive.but now its fun.addictive and when im really trying to have fun and have a lot on my mind.video gameshelp me a lot.from someone who was and still is a huge sega genesis fan.and arcade games..neo geo turbo graphics 16.etc.video games help a lot.and also during the pandemic.was good to play those games.watching retro 📺 tv shows like video power with Johnny arcade.gamepro tv.and nick arcade.help also.and x play was really good on g4 tv.video games.old school rap music.retro pop and r and b. Retro wwf.sports.sitcoms comedy.movies etc.help a lot.video games will always be a part of my life.word up son
the ones came up with this us older than me i suppose 😂
super mario or sonic the hedgehog wold be all they know. 40+ hour games they dont know about
(example of my generation had all this said to us)
so 10 hours playing in games is bad for you as opposed to sitting in a pub 10 hours a day or week ( pubs were cheaper in the 90s 😂)
after a weeks work i could be playing a game for 12 hours or more and 6 to 8 hours the following day.
i dont game on work nights.
play your games don't worry about these silly things that come up now and then.
I mean, there is war, recession all over the world, shootings, poverty, starvation, depression... no wonder games can't make you happy.
Got the plat for Demon's Souls and worked on it over the past week... didn't make me feel good in general. So it depends. I would also wager that a lot of gaming generally means your life outside of gaming sucks (or you don't want to improve it otherwise)
With those trash game it wouldn't help me either why not play something fun
As someone who plays video games for a living, I exceed 10 hours of playtime a day on weekdays, and weekends too sometimes.
Am I happier than most people?
So MMOs are good still. Whew, thought my Isekai days were over.
Curious. Is there any mention of the impact of gaming upon creativity, logic, reasoning, empathy, lateral and critical thinking, decision making? Indeed, it is a nebulous thing.
@Uncharted2007 I find that results often require consolidating in order to cast a wider net. Ecological validility is like to be compromised if the lens is too narrow, for example, only exploring the impact on emotions rather than other more abstract and inexplicable features of the human psyche.
All I've been thinking about all week is Stray and when the hell can I find the time to play more cause I'm far too busy?! 🥺♥️🐈
This article was worth reading if only for that punchline at the end. Nicely done.
Maybe if the games today were better they wouldn’t be as bad for you
Just exploring in a vast, pretty and interesting open world game can keep me going for hours just the same as a game with a gripping story.
@Th3solution why ? what's wrong with these games ?
@TheNomadLad Haha! Nothing is wrong with Apex Legends or Animal Crossing, I’m just being being sarcastic because they aren’t quintessential hardcore PlayStation experiences. We all like to dump on those ‘filthy casual’ games that don’t fit our own tastes. I’ve never understood the draw of multiplayer live-service gameplay loops, and I played some Animal Crossing with a friend and I just don’t get the appeal there either. To each his/her own though.
Edit: But to be honest, (and on topic with the article) I think one of the inherent flaws of the study is limiting the analysis to just players of these games. There are so many different types of gamers and so many different types of games. Some players and some games are more escapist than others, some require more time investment and skill, and so drawing vague conclusions about the benefits of gaming based on people playing online live-service or a driving sim wouldn’t necessarily apply to people playing Tetris or Spider-Man, or whatever. It’s like saying people who watch Seinfeld 10 hrs a week aren’t any happier, so therefore TV doesn’t help mental wellness — but what about people who watch Stranger Things or The History Channel?
And in fact (with apologies for the double post) now that I think about it and read the linked article, I’m not surprised that the study would conclude no benefit based on players of these select games.
The other games not mentioned here that were studied were Eve Online and Forza. So the researchers draw a conclusion based on a bunch of gamers playing racing games and perpetual multiplayer live-service games. 😒
In nothing else, this seems to support my suspicions that live-service and online MP games are, at best, not all that fun after all, or at worst, detrimental to one’s mental health. 😅 They become more like jobs that people sink tons of hours into just to keep up with the community; experiencing the same repeated or similar gameplay loops over and over, and never feeling any satisfaction of actually finishing a game! Of course they are no happier than people who don’t play games at all. Those of us playing lots of different single player isolated games are the happy ones! 😜
Now excuse me while I go improve my mental health by playing a couple chapters of Guardians of the Galaxy.
I play video games everyday, somedays 8+ hours, and i feel fine doing so. However there are some days that i feel fine and also dandy while playing, but those days are less frequent and usually involve something like playing as Trevor and messing with the inhabitants of Los Santos for an hour or two.
" the average player would need to play for at least 10 hours more per day to notice any difference to their well-being"
@Th3solution LOL I love how you lump together Apex And Animal Crossing as basically the same thing. I don't disagree, nothing will induce rage like ACNH. Not even Soulsborne.
@shadow2k But the cake is a lie!
I thought I enjoyed gaming to relax and unwind, but I don't play 10 hours per day so now I realize I'm miserably depressed! 🥲
@NEStalgia nooooo I won't assume the party escort submission position!
@Th3solution i agree with everything you said, well elaborated.
i never played animal crossing but i've seen it and it doesn't interest me, i do play Apex from time to time (i suck at it) and i can't say it made me happy, but i'd say it's fun most of the time (sometimes it gets me frustrated ngl).
Yet again as you said earlier i don't believe it's right to just base a study on a specific type of games.
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