Video games do not affect well-being either for better or for worse, study shows

“We found little or no causal relationship between video games and well-being,” says the study, which followed nearly 40,000 gamers over 18 over a six-week period. “For better or worse, the average impact on players’ well-being is likely to be very small, and more data is needed to determine potential risks,” said the researchers, whose work was published in The RoyalSociety.

To explore how they feel, players were asked about their emotions in daily life, including levels of happiness, sadness, anger, or frustration. The researchers also relied on game time data provided by the developers of seven video games, from the simulation game Animal Crossing to the open-world car race The Crew 2.

At least 10 hours a day

According to the study, the effects of video games, both positive and negative, will only be noticeable if the gamer plays more than 10 hours a day.

These findings contradict a 2020 study at the height of the pandemic by the same University of Oxford, which then concluded that video games may be beneficial for mental health, in contrast to this one which reports no link.

Video games, especially online games, are regularly blamed for affecting the mental health of gamers, and previous studies have criticized the impact of overly long gaming sessions on the youngest.

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