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A recent WePC survey of over 500 people in North America found that those that played games regularly were five times more likely to report a benefit in their mental health that they felt they could attribute to the activity.
Often gaming is highlighted by mainstream media as having a negative effect on on people, especially children but in this time of global pandemic and people finding themselves with more time to play games, WePC decided to find out how the reality is different from the perception.
37% of those interviewed felt gaming has had a positive effect on their mental wellbeing compared to just 8% that felt it had a negative effect.
Managing Editor of WePC Paul McNally said: “Gaming is generally surrounded by generalized negative connotations. The media are quick to blame violent video games for many of societies bigger issues because it makes a great headline, but what this survey shows is there is another side to games – one that benefits people and helps them both keep mentally active and, in many cases, in touch with people of a like mind, even though we are in a situation where this is not always possible face-to-face.”
“We have heard many stories of our kids keeping in touch with school friends via gaming while the world has been in lockdown to there is no doubt that they have been able to maintain at least some form of social interaction which can only have helped them cope.”
Even those who didn’t partake in multiplayer gaming reported a boost to their mental health with people who preferred a single-player experience more than twice as likely to benefit from a positive mental health boost.
“Being able to survey gamers from all spectrums highlights that many people also find more traditional single-player experiences have a positive effect with games such as those in the puzzle genre helping them to escape from the pressures of everyday life and refocus their minds on a positive gaming experience.”
Paul has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision. He spent over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title. Has written gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian Playstation Magazine, PlayStation Pro, Amiga Action, Mega Action, ST Action, GQ, Loaded, and the Daily Mirror. Former champion shoot 'em-up legend