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Nick Ballou

Postdoctoral Researcher

Nick Ballou

Postdoctoral Researcher

Profile Contents


Welcome! I’m a psychologist and lifelong video game player researching how gaming affects mental health. This includes both positive impacts such as stress relief and social support, and negative impacts such as frustration and gaming at the expense of other responsibilities such as work and school.

To achieve these research goals, I work with games industry companies like Nintendo to build data-sharing partnerships. This is necessary because the effects of gaming derive from the quality, rather than quantity of play. In other words, the most important factors are what people play, why they play, with whom, etc—not just how much they play. Our best opportunity to explore these factors is by accessing the detailed behavioural data that games companies generate and hold.

A broader goal of my work is to make psychological research on games more transparent and trustworthy, so as to reduce biases in the kinds of results that are sought or published—biases that are unfortunately common throughout games research and social sciences more broadly. More details about how I try to support transparent research are available on my website.

Please feel free to contact me about anything related to video games, mental health, disordered or addiction-like gaming, and similar topics—or perhaps if you just need a recommendation for your next game.

Research Interests

Video games, psychology, mental health, wellbeing, data sharing, digital behaviour

Positions at the OII

  • Postdoctoral Researcher, May 2023 -



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