November 25, 2020

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Study points out that video games can be good for mental health

2 min read

Games like Animal Crossing and Plants vs Zombies can bring benefits to users during social isolation

One of the major concerns about video games is their impact on players’ physical and mental health. However, a new study from the University of Oxford, England, suggests that games like “Plants vs Zombies” and “Animal Crossing” may actually bring psychological benefits to its supporters.

According to the study authors, part of the positive results of this finding is due to the potential of games to be alternatives to social interaction during the pandemic of the new coronavirus, satisfying, in some way, the lack felt by users to meet with friends and relatives.

Benefits of gaming vs. gaming addiction

The study can be seen as a counterpoint to previous research that condemned people’s exposure to games, especially among young people. The conclusions of both sides, however, are not nullified and can be seen as complementary.

This is because the addiction to games, which is a problem and brings losses to fans, does not have a single specific cause, being caused by a set of multiple factors, which increase the chances of the individual to develop the disorder. Thus, frequent exposure to games is not enough to present the picture.

Among the positive impacts studied so far on video games, the following aspects developed by the players were identified: more logical reasoning, more attention, more agility, more coordination and greater tolerance to frustrations.

Things to do in quarantine

Playing video games is not the only activity that can help maintain the individual’s health and emotional stability during the period of social isolation. Involvement with music, for example, can bring a number of benefits to mental health.

A survey commissioned by the streaming platform Spotify, in the middle of the quarantine, revealed that 89% of adults feel happier and more relaxed when playing a musical instrument. In addition to offering greater personal satisfaction, the practice has also proved effective in reducing stress and promoting a feeling of peace.

Learn more: Why and how to keep your mental health up to date in quarantine

Other task options indicated by specialists also involve the practice of physical exercises, stretching and meditation, as a way to relax and occupy time while the pandemic is not over. In addition, keeping in touch with someone you know by phone, video call or message is also important, as is trying to follow a healthy diet and perform activities that are of interest to you.

Mental health and recreation

Source: Study points out that video games can be good for mental health