The time spent playing video games has no consequences for the well-being of players, concludes a large study carried out by the University of Oxford and published on Wednesday.
“We have found little or no evidence of a causal relationship between video games and well-being,” says this study that followed nearly 40,000 gamers over 18 years of age for six weeks.
“For better or worse, the average effects (of video games) on the well-being of players are probably very low, and more data are needed to determine the potential risks,” argue the researchers whose work was published in the journal The Royal Society.
To analyze their well-being, the players were asked about their emotions in everyday life, including their level of happiness, sadness, anger or frustration.
The researchers also relied on playtime data provided by the developers of seven video games, from the simulation game “Animal Crossing” to the open-world car racing game “The Crew 2.”
According to the study, the consequences of the video game, whether positive or negative, would only be noticeable if a player played more than 10 hours a day.
These results contradict a study carried out in 2020, in the midst of a pandemic, by the same University of Oxford, which then concluded that playing video games could be good for mental health, unlike the latter, which indicates a lack of connection.
Video games, including online games, are regularly accused of affecting players’ mental health, and previous studies have criticized the effect of excessively long gaming sessions on the very young.
“Currently there is not enough data and evidence for governments to make laws and regulations that restrict gambling among certain population groups,” said Matti Vuorre, one of the authors of the new study.
“We know that we need much more data on problem gamblers from many more platforms in order to inform (gaming) policy and advise parents and health professionals,” said colleague Andrew K. Przybylski. (YO)