Let’s go back to 1958 when the first video game was created. The inventor’s main interests were never video games; he was responsible for creating an exhibition and thought most of the existing exhibits were dull.
At the time, the ‘Tennis for Two’ video game was revolutionary. Unlike today’s games, it had basic controls – players could only adjust the ball’s angle with a knob and hit it with a button.
Fast forward to the present; video games are full of immersive universes where players can be anything they want to be. But, some of the games were so immersive that players dissociated from reality. The World Health Organization (WHO) added “gaming disorder” to the 2018 version of the medical reference book. A gaming disorder is defined as a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming and an increasing priority given to gaming over other activities.
Many scientists spoke about the potential impacts of online gaming on mental health, social life, academic achievement, and more. The Economic Times spoke about how gaming could affect a child’s mental, physical, and social well-being. The article went in depth about how gamers may lose focus on their responsibilities and obligations, like academic work, physical activity, and social activities.
To be able to understand this topic better, Real Research, an online survey app, conducted a survey on the relationship between gaming and mental health. Let’s have a look at what the results were.
- 58.15% played video games on a daily basis.
- Over 86% reckon that there’s a connection between online gaming and mental health.
- Online gaming has a stress-reducing effect, according to 62.88%.
Do you Play Online Games?
According to data, the global online gaming market generated approximately $26.14 billion in revenues in 2023, and there are an estimated number of 1.1 billion gamers worldwide. While video games were introduced years ago, a high number of people still use them today. Our survey revealed that 43.73% of the respondents currently play online video games, 42.12% used to play video games, and a small percentage of 14.15% have never played online games.
Of the people who play video games, 58.15% stated that they engage in video games on a daily basis. The rest of the players use video games on a weekly basis (28.61%), some play monthly (7.25%), 5.19% stated that they rarely play video games, and only 0.8% claimed they never play online games.
As we mentioned earlier, The Economic Times shared a detailed article on the impacts of gaming on a person’s life. Moreover, over 57.5% claimed that they had concerns about their gaming habits and patterns, while 42.5% didn’t share the same opinion.
Gaming and Mental Health
A study shared that there are positive consequences of online gaming on mental health. According to the study, online games can act as distractions from psychological trauma and help people who are suffering from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
A significant percentage of respondents (86.59%) believed that there was a connection between online gaming and mental health; 52.65% somewhat agreed with the statement; and 33.94% strongly agreed. On the other hand, 10.12% somewhat didn’t believe in a connection between the two, and 3.29% strongly disagreed.
While many (37.91%) didn’t notice any noticeable changes in their mental health that could be attributed to online gaming, 32.58% noticed negative changes, and 29.51% saw positive changes.
Impacts of Online Gaming on Mental Health
Some studies showed negative consequences of online gaming on mental health, while others showed positive consequences. It is evident that there is an impact, either good or bad, and almost half (46.09%) were somewhat concerned about it. 37.7% were very concerned, 12.91% weren’t very concerned, and 3.3% weren’t concerned at all.
Read Also: Millennial Gamers Balance Work and Play
One of the positive outcomes of online gaming is that it could relieve anxiety and have a stress-reducing effect on gamers. 62.88% confirmed this and stated that online gaming has a stress-reducing effect, while 37.12% were opposed.
Some experts believe that online gaming can enhance mental health and cognitive function, a statement agreed upon by 84.22%. 45.67% somewhat believed that online gaming can have those positive effects, 38.55% strongly agreed, 11.31% somewhat disagreed, and a minority (4.47%) strongly disagreed.
Read Also: Survey: Impact of E-Gaming on Millennials
Positive or Negative?
The survey further asked about the negative consequences of online gaming. The results put poor sleep patterns first on the list, with 22.92% believing so, 21.57% saying decreased physical activity, 19.64% saying reduced social interaction, and 19.4% saying they didn’t believe there were any negative consequences. The last negative consequence of online gaming on mental health was increased stress, voted by 16.47%.
Surprisingly, when asked about the positive consequences of online gaming, 32.66% stated stress relief as a benefit. The rest of the benefits were cognitive stimulation (24.99%), enhanced problem-solving skills (23%), and improved social interaction (19.23%).
|Survey Title||Survey on the Relationship Between Gaming and Mental Health|
|Duration||September 16 – September 23, 2023|
|Number of Participants||10,000|
|Demographics||Males and females, aged 21 to 99|
|Participating Countries||Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia,… Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, China, China (Hong Kong) China (Macao), China (Taiwan), Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Greanada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Libya, Lithuania, Malaysia, Maldives, Maluritania, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar [Burma], Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.|
Real Research News is the media platform that presents insights and studies of wide-range of topics. It focuses on insights gathered from its survey app.