Video game: well-being or not-well-being, still a dubious connection – Science et Avenir

In the fall of 2020, this came as a bit of a surprise in the world of video games. Researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute at the university in the same English city concluded that online gaming sessions (in this case, Animal Crossing and Plants vs Zombies) probably have a positive effect on the well-being of the player. . This work, which runs counter to a number of ideas received, was based on actual gaming data provided by publishers (number of sessions, duration, etc.) of 3274 people. But the authors indicated that it is necessary to expand this work, in particular, by making it apply to more games and more players.

This has been done since the end of July 2022. And the conclusions are not the same! In an unprecedented format, the new study, signed by the same team, has been published in the journal Royal Society Open Science. This time around, it covers seven online games played by 38,835 people across eight countries (Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Ireland, Canada, UK, USA) for six weeks. Still youSometimes publishers have provided real data, so it’s not data from lab games or after a call for volunteers.

Game Behavior Data

The publishers asked the players, on the one hand, to ask them for permission to provide the researchers with data on their gaming behavior (essentially, on the opening and closing of sessions, which makes it possible to determine the duration of the games), without information about the personality, and on the other hand, to invite them to answer to a questionnaire designed by the researchers.

More than 108,000 people agreed to provide their data, but not all of them were selected because they did not answer the questionnaire. The latter had three waves of questions designed to measure how the player felt over time, from session to session, or to see if anyone stopped playing in the process.

The questions consisted of six positive and six negative feelings, each on a 7-point scale, based on well-known psychological measures of subjective well-being, such as the Cantril Scale or the Experience Scale. ).

“Unfounded hopes and fears”

And the verdict is this: “The hopes and fears that are most often expressed about video games seem unfounded, the researchers write. Time spent playing video games has a limited impact, and well-being has little to no effect on time spent playing.”

They believe that this influence, good or bad, if it exists, is so insignificant that the players themselves are not able to notice and feel it. In other words, there is still to be demonstrated and the desire to establish a health policy, for example in relation to the effects of video games, requires further research in this area.

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