Have you been worried that the kids have been spending too much time playing Minecraft, or that you’ve spent too many hours on the online casinos during the pandemic? If so, there’s no need to worry. A research study performed by the University of Saskatchewan has found that gaming is not just a pointless way to pass the hours. Not only can it help to relieve stress – something that a lot of us have been feeling over the last few months – but it can also improve mental health.
The University of Saskatchewan primarily focused their research on adults aged between 18 and 55; however, they also considered pre-literate children and elderly care home residents. The team behind the research looked at the cognitive benefits of gaming as well as the effects it has on mental and emotional health. Head researcher and science professor Regan Mandryk found that the results varied depending on what type of game was being played.
One example cited were multiplayer games and games that require players to interact socially. This encompasses everything from Fortnite and Sea of Thieves to crptyo casino games like poker and blackjack. Whether you meet your friends in a console lobby or log on to a site like Unikrn and chat as you play, the benefits are the same.
“[Games like Fortnite] allow you to escape psychologically” said Mandryk. With everything that’s been going on in the world over the last few months, enjoying a physical detachment from everything is beneficial for people of all ages. Not only does it help you to feel like you are mastering a challenge, but it also enables you to regain some kind of control in your life. This is key when it comes to dealing with stress.
Video games are especially important for kids who have not been able to see another child in many months. Children are used to seeing other children every day at school and not being able to do that is incredibly tough. And while adults can sit down in front of a laptop and type messages, this isn’t how young children communicate. They need to be able to play with each other and while they can’t do that physically, they can do it to some extent in a multiplayer game. A game like Minecraft not only enables them to socialize, it also helps boost creativity and teamwork. There isn’t a negative side here.
While there’s not much we, individually, can do to stop the spread of the pandemic, we do have a chance to take back control in a digital world. While Mandryk isn’t sure of the long term effects of gaming, she did finish by saying that as long as you’re not replacing the other things that are good for you – such as exercise and fresh air – with gaming, there’s likely no reason to be worried about the amount of time we are spending in digital worlds.