From the article:
Videogames have got a bad rap over the years.
Linked with violence, isolation, sedentary and antisocial behavior – if you believe some of the more hysterical media sources, videogames are symbolic of everything that’s wrong with young people today.
However, a new Australian study turns this perception on its head and even suggests that videogames be used as a tool to enhance and promote young people’s wellbeing and mental health.
The comprehensive study, titled, Videogames and Wellbeing, reviewed over 200 research papers from around the world, Australia’s Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre, found that there are strong links between gaming and good mental health in young people.
The study’s led researcher, Dr Daniel Johnson, from the Queensland University of Technology, says, “For years we’ve been told that videogames make us socially isolated, aggressive and lazy, but our research suggests the opposite is true. Playing videogames actually has a number of positive impacts on the player, with both social and psychological wellbeing benefits.”
So what are the benefits?
According to the review, and based on ‘moderate gameplay’, benefits include – positive emotions and emotional stability, relaxation and stress reduction – and most impressively, that depressed moods are significantly lower, and self-esteem higher, in those that play games.
This latest research was unveiled as part of the international gaming event, PAX (Penny Arcade Gaming) Australia, which was held in Melbourne over the weekend. Alongside the research, academics from the study led a panel and also unveiled a competition to design a game to promote young men’s wellbeing. Aimed at 12 – 25 year olds, the competition asks young people to come up with a game for PC, iPhone or Android that promotes positive action to enhance young men’s wellbeing.
You can find out more about the competition here.
Find a link to the Videogames and Wellbeing study here.
Has this study changed your views on gaming? Are you more inclined to encourage gaming in your kids after reading this?