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Oxford study shows that video games do not affect your well-being, no matter how much time you spend in them.

In a nutshell: Another study showed that video games do not affect a person’s well-being. This experiment differed from other studies in that the researchers directly tracked participants’ gameplay rather than using the usual method of relying on self-reporting, which is not always accurate.

Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute in the UK conducted the study in collaboration with seven different game publishers, which allowed them to track the gaming habits of those who agreed to participate in the study.

Back in late 2020, the same Oxford team said its research showed that skill-based, socially stimulating games tend to improve the emotional well-being of players. It was also noted that participants who played video games for a long time seemed to be happier overall than those who did not, which contradicts the new data.

A previous study included 3274 participants and assumed that they estimated gameplay time by keeping diaries. The updated study included more people, over 39,000, and the researchers were able to track gaming habits directly.

Participants’ gameplay was observed in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Apex Legends, Eve Online, Forza Horizon 4, Gran Turismo Sport, Outriders, and The Crew 2 for six weeks.

Play Apex Legends for as long as you want, it’s unlikely to affect how you feel

Players were asked to report their experience based on attributes such as “autonomy”, “competence” and “intrinsic motivation”. This was to determine if they were playing for positive reasons (fun, socializing with friends) or less healthy (compulsion to hit game goals).

The study found that there is no link between play time and poor mental health, so reducing the number of hours children are allowed to play each week is unlikely to make them feel better, despite what China thinks.

“We did give the increase and decrease in video games a chance to predict emotional state of satisfaction with life, and we found no evidence for this – we found evidence that this is practically not true,” Andy Przybylsky, one of the researchers, said The keeper.

But Przybylski made a small reservation about Oxford website: “We found that it doesn’t really matter how many gamers played [in terms of their sense of well-being]. It wasn’t the number of games that mattered, it was the quality… if they felt they had to play, they got worse. If they played because they enjoyed it, the data showed that it did not affect their mental health. It seemed to give them a strong positive feeling.”

This marks the latest study to debunk claims that video games have a devastating effect on a person’s mental health, potentially leading to aggressive or violent behavior. These sorts of claims made headlines after the Columbine shooting more than 20 years ago and have raised their heads over the years, despite research like this one.


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