Science Alert, from Australia & New Zealand, have had a research group look into a link between young people and video games. The research was begun after the media attention circling around an apparent connection between violence and video games.
After reviewing over two hundred papers and looking over mapped relevant connections and associations, the team discovered that there was a very positive link when it comes to young people playing video games.
The research group discovered that playing video games positively influences young people’s emotional state, vitality, engagement, competence and self-acceptance. On top of this it was also discovered that gaming has a positive impact on self-esteem, optimism, resilience, healthy relationships, social connections and functioning.
Although these positives were discovered, negatives were still apparent. Excessive video game play and technology use can result in mental health issues such as anxiety and Insomnia.
Although many major media outlets perceive that video games make people socially isolated, aggressive and lazy, the research does suggest otherwise. In a majority of cases, video games can actually contribute to a young person’s emotional, social and psychological state.
Their key findings discovered the following information:
• moderate (non-excessive) levels of playing are associated with positive emotions and improved mood, improved emotion regulation and emotional stability and the reduction of emotional disturbances;
• playing video games is a healthy means of relaxation, stress reduction and socialising; and
• people who play video games in moderation have significantly less depressed mood and higher self-esteem (compared to those who don’t play or who play excessively).
The research states that it is more important how young people play and who they play with rather than what they play. The research team critically encourage that this discover should be translated to better explain to parents and professionals about the positive impact games can have in moderation.
The team are currently working on a new rating system that, instead of showing the negatives of the game, shows the positive influences that the game encourages. This would work by replacing titles such as Gore, Violence and Offensive Language with Teamwork, Social Connections and Emotions.
This is a very good discover in the world of video game psychology. With this information, video games could be moved more to empower the gamer with their psychological health. Although there are still areas being looked into, such as what constitutes as a healthy amount of moderate game time throughout a gamers life and how to incorporate these effects into therapeutics, the breakthroughs discovered by this team could be a massive leap forward into proving that video games do not cause murders and violence. But instead cause long term, positive benefits to people.
So what do you think about the research made by Science Alert? Do you think games are still related to violence in the real world? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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