Science/Tech

Research Reveals Video Games Can Help Improve Mental Health

We bring you good news, gamers. A U of S computer scientist recently said that gaming can help people connect socially while also letting them improve their cognitive skills. Tell that to your Mom.

Are Video Games A Waste Of Time?

As we go through another month of social distancing, an increasing number of people stuck inside their homes have turned to video games in order to pass the time or do something that’ll help entertain them.

This has led to the gaming industry experiencing its biggest increase in player base and purchases in the last few years. And chances are, you (or your kid) might be one of the people that contributed to that. If so, then you might be suddenly thinking if you’re already spending too much time playing games.

Don’t fret, however, because a new research reveals that video games can have positive effects too, and aren’t just a mindless waste of time.

Study Shows Video Games Have Positive Health Benefits

The new study, made by University of Saskatchewan computer science professor Regan Mandryk, reveals that video games actually have health benefits, especially now that we are going through a time of self-isolation and social distancing.

Such benefits, per the findings of Mandryk’s research, reveals that video games can help reduce our stress and improve our mental well-being.

"When people play video games they actually have a lot of benefits to our emotional health or social health and our mental well-being," she said.

Although the research’s primary focus is on 18 to 55 year olds, it also looked at all other age groups that play video games, starting from re-literate children through to older adults living in long-term care homes .

Per Mandryk, they then looked at how video games have improved the lives of these people in terms of emotional and mental health, as well as how it helps them with their social skills and other cognitive skills.

"It allows you to escape psychologically, have a little bit of psychological detachment from what's going on around you. It helps you relax. It helps you feel like you're mastering challenges and it helps you feel like you have control over your environment — which are four main pieces to help you recover from stress," Mandryk said.

Video Games Video games are the culmination of modern art, combining different types of media like visual art, music and coding. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, public domain

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