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I can’t tell you how important gaming was for me during lockdown. Like many others, games were the place I socialised, entertained myself and even made new friends when I couldn’t go anywhere. But for many of us, this has been the case for a long time - gaming has been a place that supports and helps our mental health in the long run, even if we get tilted by a game or two. And a new study suggests that yes, gaming really is good for many gamers’ mental wellbeing.
The Opinium’s Mental Health and Gaming report has found that about three in five people who play, report that games help their mental health. When the study asked the 1361 people in the survey about how they’d rate their mental health on a scale of one to ten, those who played longer hours a week reported better mental health.
48% of players said that they think gaming helps reduce stress while 47% said that they use gaming as an escape from real life. Interestingly those with the lowest mental health on the scale were more likely to report that they were using games for escapism directly.
So what sort of games are people playing? Well maybe unsurprisingly the FPS genre was reported by the highest number of players as the game they’re regularly indulging in. We can’t say this is a shocking revelation as it’s one of the biggest genres of games out there full stop. FPS sat at 42% which was closely followed by action games at 39%.
Those with the lowest mental health scores however are playing puzzle games (56%) or simulation games (43%). An interesting trend - and it might be indicative that those who have more mental health support are playing things high-stress games for fun, rather than slow-paced games for relaxation.
Featured Image Credit: Sony Interactive Entertainment
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