Oxford University study finds increased wellbeing after playing Animal Crossing

So often in the news, we get stories about how certain video games may adversely affect our mental health. However, as I have written about before (here, here and here), so many people use video games to ease mental distress and it seems we now have a study from Oxford University and the findings seem to back up that thinking.

As first spotted on The Guardian, academics at the University worked with real playtime data for two games specifically: Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Plants vs. Zombies: Battle for Neighborville. And their results indicated that “people who played more games tended to report greater ‘wellbeing'”.

It is interesting and noticeable that both of these games are considered ‘All Ages’ – family-friendly titles, and Animal Crossing, in particular, saw its huge sales during the height of the COVID pandemic; A time where many were under lockdown and undoubtedly enjoyed the bright, relaxing nature of the game as a sort of ‘escape’ from a darker more serious reality. Will other games fare as positively on the mind – more research is needed. However, it is good to see studies based on more solid data finally hitting the headlines.

Nintendo Nerd, sharing my love of Mario with the world one pixel at a time.

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