It’s Time Society Stopped Blaming Video Games for Society’s Ills
Video nasties, satanism, alcohol… every age and every society needs scapegoats to blame for the bad stuff that goes on in a society, often to avoid tackling the very real problems going on within it.
Video games has been one of those since the 1980s and while the nature of what people think the problem is with video games, it’s still one of society’s scapegoats.
These days, the media’s pearl clutching tends to focus on mental health. But it’s all nonsense.
In July 2022, Oxford University published another study on the impact of video games on mental health. It concluded that gaming did not appear harmful to mental health finding “no causal link” between playing video games and the poor mental health of the player.
This was not the first time the top university did such a study, but it was the first to focus on the number of gaming hours as a key factor. It was also the second to look at data from gamers.
According to Professor Przybylski, there was one small nuance — that there was no mental health impact on those who played “because they want to play”. As for the rest, it is unclear whether not wanting to play was driven by addiction or by peer pressure.
Note: plenty of things that people enjoy are addictive with no guarantee of addiction. Video games are not alone in this.
A previous study from 2020, also at Oxford University, came to similar conclusions. This one examined a group of players of two common mobile games. Professor Przybylski more recent study looked at seven games covering different genres and how people play. As a gamer himself, he said he’d love to see more studies on this with gaming companies providing more data for a greater analysis.
In any case, don’t be ashamed of gaming. So long as your other life responsibilities aren't suffering it’s all good.
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