Research has also found that training non-gamers playing action video games for a period of time can improve cognitive performance in comparison to those who not gaming. These training benefits have proved to last over an extended period and these benefits are applied to both young and older populations, with results showing adults aged 50 to 77 years of age who played a complex video game for as little as two weeks could increase important cognitive abilities like memory. As a result, gaming has the benefit to promote engagement and an active mind for players being isolated during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Video games and mental health

Research also emphasise the key mental health benefits of playing video games, concluding that they promote positive emotions and positive social functioning. All of these benefits lead to improvement of mental health and wellbeing. This can be achieved by playing short and simple games such as Angry Birds, Lines, etc.

Some studies have even recorded lower levels of depressed mood in players who play video games versus those who don’t. Action video games have also been proved to significantly reduce rumination in people with depression. Video games can help the player to escape from work and life’s stressors, even for a short period of time which may be more relevant than ever during this pandemic.

Overall, video games can play a significant role in boosting our mood, particularly due to increasing levels of depression and anxiety during this period of uncertainty. The ability of video games to assist the player to escape from feeling uncertainty even for a short period is helpful. Of course, benefits will depend on the extent to which people spend playing the game but we encourage everyone at home to give it a try. Start with something simple then go up the ladder!