A real surprise. Researchers from the Oxford Internet Institute have just delivered the results of a study on the video game world. They were looking to learn more about the wellness effects of video games. For this, they were able to count on the support of Nintendo and Electronic Arts, which provided the anonymized data of 3,274 players over the age of 18. The games concerned are Animal Crossing and Plants vs Zombies.

The findings amazed scientists as they found that gamers who spent more time gambling reported being happier. However, in the great research carried out over the past forty years, the opposite conclusion has been reached.

Social characteristics seem to matter a lot

Asked by the BBC, Andrew Przybylski, who led this study, specifies: “ If you play Animal Crossing four hours a day, every day, you’re likely to say that you feel a lot happier than someone who doesn’t. That doesn’t mean Animal Crossing makes you happy.

To explain this result, the authors evoke the social characteristics of these two games in which the player interacts with characters controlled by other humans. A particularly important characteristic at a time when the pandemic is taking us away from others.

The researchers noted, however, that players who feel an obligation to play, especially to avoid stress or anxiety, continue to report less satisfaction with their experience than other gamers.

For scientists, the idea is now to go further and obtain even more information from the studios, on all the worlds of the video game industry. This call for open data is launched and could lead to new discoveries.

As a reminder, several studies have recently been published on video games, in particular that of the National Literacy Trust, a British organization which aims to promote literacy. She praised their benefits in terms of communication and social ties.