A new study released by the University of Oxford gives you permission to keep playing “Animal Crossing”.
Do you have a Nintendo Switch? If you do, do you play Animal Crossing like almost everyone? Have you ever been told by your parents or teachers that playing video games will “rot your brain”? Well, now you can prove them wrong, because there’s a new scientific study that says video games are actually good for you!
Researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute recently published a study where they took a survey of people who play popular games Animal Crossing and Plants vs. Zombies. Over the course of a few months, players filled out a survey, and data was collected from them. Researchers then analyzed that data to determine the well-being of the players over time spent playing those games.
Normally, when scientific studies like this are done, there is a large amount of information needed. For instance, if you were trying to decide if video games make you happier, you’d probably need information based on more than just two games for the results to be significant. The researchers at Oxford issued this exact disclaimer when they published their study. Since they only assessed two games (Animal Crossing and Plants vs. Zombies), the results are essentially inconclusive that playing any video game will make you happier.
There are also other psychological factors to consider. The concept of play in general is something that leads to overall better mental health, so things other than video games can be used in this way. But, taking away someone’s video games does the opposite of help, as this study basically shows.
The debate over the mental health effects of video games has been going on since video games were born. While the results of this study are not concrete, what is clear is that playing video games definitely does not damage your health. So play away, dear readers!
Both games can be found on Amazon; Animal Crossing is available for the Nintendo Switch, and Plants vs. Zombies is available for the XBOX ONE.
For more information on the research study, click here.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to add Animal Crossing to my Hannukkah wish list!