Video games have become one of the best options to pass the time in this pandemic period. From children to adults, everyone likes playing multiple video games at home. Today, gaming is emerging as an incredible source of entertainment and revenue for software companies, and according to a recent study by Research and Consultancy Agency DFC Intelligence, gaming has emerged around 40% of people on the planet playing games on the regular basis, and over 3 billion people on the planet are active gamers. However, these video games have always been questioned the harm it causes to one's physical and mental health. The concept of lonely gamers locked in rooms for hours, asocial, ignoring meals, unhealthy, and idle is rooted in people's mind. But recent research by Oxford University has found that video games can have a good impact on mental health.

The above graph shows the hours spent for Gaming and player reports of well-being 

This type of research can support nations that have a history of banning video games because If their addictive possibility, without any authentic data to attach mental health and gaming. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has added ‘Gaming Disorder’ to the International classification of diseases in 2019. Several discussions about video games have focused on fears about a massive part of players becoming addicted. This special research by Oxford University was one of the first to be executed utilizing real play-time data, and it indicated that video games might certainly have a positive impact on the psychological health of the gamers. The research conducts with real play-time data, noting the first time that game designers have shared their data with scholars to know the influence of games. The Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America helped the researchers to combine academics and industry expertise.

The researchers of the Oxford University analysed two famous video games, ‘Plant Vs Zombies: Battle for Neighborville’ and ‘Animal Crossing: New Horizons’. The research included 3,274 participants who were asked to complete a survey which was designed by researchers ‘to measure well-being, self-reported play, and motivational experiences during play’. The result of this research was unsure in the initial stage, but it was found that video games can truly make you happier. The experience that players have while playing the game was connected with positive feelings and had a positive impact on their mental health. Similarly, the participants created a sense of connection with several individuals.

Source: IGN India

Andrew Przybylski, the Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, and lead author of the study, concluded the entire research in a press release by saying, “Our findings show video games aren't necessarily bad for your health, there are other psychological factors while having a significant effect on a person's well-being. Play can be an activity that relates positively to people's mental health and regulating video games could withhold those benefits from players”. This recent research on video games by Oxford University utilized existing industry data, and it concentrated on the alliance between objective game time and well-being which evaluated the connection between quickly scaled behaviour and subjective mental health, enabling the researchers to deliver a template for drafting high-quality evidence to support health policymakers.

It is significant to understand that the research by Oxford University only included the two popular games and that the effects might be distinct for other video games. The team of researchers at Oxford is confident that if the research goes on, they will learn about the things that people think of as toxic in video games, and they will have evidence for those things as well. This research explained that there can be various positive possibilities for playing video games than just bad effects on health. However, the study stressed that the benefits might only be effective for people who enjoy gaming and not for those who use gaming to escape from the reality of life.