Playing video games has become a key strategy for coping with stress, a study of millennial gamers has revealed. Researchers who quizzed 1,000 gamers on their attitudes to gaming found 55 percent play video games because it helps them to unwind and relieve stress.
47 percent believe that performing well in a video game has a positive impact on their lives outside of the screen, allowing them to look upon other aspects of their lives more positively. And half said they see the value in gaming as a method of escapism to help them deal with daily work pressures.
Luke Hales, general manager of the Dave TV channel, which surveyed 1,000 gamers aged 18 to 30, said, “This survey is incredibly revealing in showing the positive mental benefits of getting together for a gaming session.”
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” of gamers. It also emerged the average gamer has made three friends through gaming, either through playing together or in the surrounding community and culture.
Sixty percent of those surveyed consider gaming a key component of their social life. And almost a quarter believe they have made more friends through their interest in gaming than through any other area of their life, making it their core social outlet.
The study also explored other potential benefits of gaming, such as improvements to mood, reflexes and social skills.
A third of gamers said they play for the sense of achievement or accomplishment it gives them. 42 percent 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.
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Another 27 percent believe playing video games has helped them to process or deal with a mental health issue or concern, while 37 percent agree playing a game online with other people has helped to increase their levels of confidence.
One fifth think playing games has helped them to hone their problem-solving abilities, and 28 percent believe their hobby has made a positive impact on their reflexes and coordination.
To aid their immersion in the game, and to lose themselves more easily in the activity, one in four gamers make their player avatar look as close to their own likeness as possible in role playing games.
Twenty percent think Action and Adventure games are the easiest genre of games to get immersed in, followed by Puzzle games and Role-Playing games. Games in the Action and Adventure category were also considered the best to help relieve stress, followed by Shooter games and Puzzle games.
Hales added: “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. It’s also a great way to interact with people who have similar interests, socialize and make friends, and it’s a shame this side of the pastime is often passed over by the media in favor of a negative headline.”
Season three of Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit launches Monday, February 12th only on Dave and is available to preview now on UKTV Play.