A new study has found that playing video games can actually be beneficial for your health.
Researchers who quizzed 1,000 gamers found that 55 per cent play video games because it helps them to relieve stress and improve their mood, as well as boosting confidence and social skills.
47 per cent of those in the study think performing well in a game has a positive impact on their day-to-day lives outside of the screen, while half of the gamers also said they see value in gaming as a method of escapism to help them deal with pressure from work.
It was also revealed that playing video games can help people process mental health issues or concerns.
The study revealed that the average gamer has made three friends through playing videogames, either through playing together, online, or in their surrounding community, and that 60 per cent of those surveyed consider gaming a vital component of their social life.
Games in the Action & Adventure category were considered the best to help relieve stress, followed by Shooter games and Puzzle games and, to lose themselves more easily in the game, one in four gamers make their avatar look as close to their own likeness as possible.
Luke Hales, general manager of the Dave TV channel who conducted the study, said:
This survey is incredibly revealing in showing the positive mental benefits of getting together for a gaming session.
For those looking for support, gaming as a hobby can offer a confidence-boosting sense of achievement which may be lacking in other aspects of their lives.
The results of the study show gaming as a social pursuit, with three in five of those surveyed playing specifically to join friends or an established ‘clan’ to play with.
And 42 per cent said they feel at their happiest when they are performing well in a video game, receiving a greater rush from their victories than comparable achievements in real life.
It’s also a great way to interact with people who have similar interests, socialise and make friends, and it’s a shame this side of pastime if often passed over by the media in favour of a negative headline.
As if we needed any more reasons to fire up the console or PC, we’ve now got stats to back it up.
Season three of Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit launches Monday February 12 at 10pm on Dave.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.