Here’s some old research from Australian Pax a few months ago. According to Young and Well CRC CEO, Associate Professor Jane Burns, video games do have a positive effect on mental wellbeing. The key findings highlighted in her research shows that:
- Moderate gameplay can contribute to positive emotions, emotional stability and the reduction of emotional disturbances.
- Positive mental wellbeing has been associated with videogame play as a means of relaxation and stress reduction.
- Depressed mood is significantly lower, and self-esteem higher, in those that play games.
There will always be someone who criticise research like this, but I personally feel that this is true, video games has been a powerful remedy in many of our lives. If you’ve been following my Facebook page you would know that I really would love to hear people’s opinions and stories about what they think about this video games health issue. A few minutes ago someone sent me a message about how video games have changed the lives of someone close to them. Here’s what was written:
“Growing up, there were points when I could not understand my younger brother. His ADHD, mixed with a disruptive childhood, meant that he was withdrawn and incapable of focusing on anything long enough to bond with other people. He didn’t understand how people worked, and was all but incapable of making friends. He hated reading, and had no interest in stories or sharing ideas.
And then we got Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. He couldn’t read the subtitles, but he would sit there as we read them to him. He would listen, and first began to understand the importance of honing skills. He was given a world he could live in, and learnt the power of stories. And finally, this was something he could discuss with other people. Here, friendship began.”
Video games can heal. In time I think video games are capable of being more than just simple entertainment. We’re taking steps to accomplish this goal, but until people take video games more seriously we’ll continue to strive for the light.