Video game play is positively correlated with well-being
About this video
People have never played more video games and many stakeholders are worried that this activity might be bad for players. So far, research has not had adequate data to test whether these worries are justified and if policymakers should act to regulate videogame playtime. Professor Andrew Przybylski with his co-author’s Dr Niklas Johannes and Dr Matti Vourre in their report ‘Video game play is positively correlated with well-being’ attempt to provide much-needed evidence with adequate data. Whereas previous research had to rely on self-reported play behaviour, they collaborated with two games companies, Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America, to obtain players’ actual play behaviour. They surveyed players of Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville and Animal Crossing: New Horizons for their well-being, motivations, and need satisfaction during play and merged their responses with telemetry data (i.e., logged game play).
Contrary to many fears that excessive game time will lead to addiction and poor mental health, they found a small positive relationship between game play and well-being. Need satisfaction and motivations during play did not interact with game time but were instead independently related to well-being. Their results advance the field in two important ways. First, they show that collaborations with industry partners can be done to high academic standards in an ethical and transparent fashion. Second, they deliver much-needed evidence to policymakers on the link between play and mental health.
About the Speakers
Associate Professor, Senior Research Fellow and Director of Research
Professor Przybylski is an experimental psychologist and Director of Research at the OII. His work is mainly concerned with applying psychological models of motivation and health to study how people interact with virtual environments.
Niklas Johannes is a behavioural scientist. He works as a postdoctoral researcher in the Adolescent Well-Being in the Digital Age programme, where he studies effects of technology on well-being and performance.