Time spent playing games is not associated with gamers’ well-being, study finds

Deepak Gupta July 29, 2022
Updated 2022/07/29 at 10:46 PM

The time spent at the computer playing games may be a source of concern for many parents, due to several factors. However, a new study has found that when it comes to wellness, there’s nothing to fear, because it’s not associated with how much time you spend online.

The study collected data from a sample of 39,000 players.

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After analyzing 39,000 gamers, the Oxford Internet Institute concluded that the amount of time they spend playing “little or nothing” affects their well-being. In fact, an average gamer would have to play 10 hours more than usual to notice any difference in this field.

Players' well-being was measured through questions about life satisfaction and the level of emotions such as happiness, sadness, anger and frustration. The answers gave rise to a result that contradicts another research carried out in 2020 – with a smaller number of analyzed players, the study carried out two years ago, carried out by the same institute, concluded that those who played longer were happier.

Common sense says that if you have more free time to play video games, you are probably a happier person.

But contrary to what we might think about games being good or bad for us, we found [neste último estudo] pretty conclusive evidence that how much you gamble really has nothing to do with changes in well-being.

If players played because they wanted to, not because they felt obligated, they had to, they tended to feel better.

Explained Andrew Przybylski, professor and investigator on both studies.

Andrew Przybylski, professor at the Oxford Internet Institute and investigator on both studies

Andrew Przybylski, professor at the Oxford Internet Institute and investigator on both studies

For the study, technology companies such as Sony and Microsoft provided data for six weeks of: Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Apex Legends, Eve Online, Forza Horizon 4, Gran Turismo Sport and The Crew 2. During the time of the investigation, only a player decided to leave.

The information was shared with the Oxford Internet Institute with the players' consent and the study was published in the Royal Society Open Science.

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