bad guy or good guy? Playing video games can bring good reflexes to mental health

Studies by Oxford University indicate a positive link between play and users ’mental health; experts evaluate models and make reservations

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Mental reflexes can vary depending on the dynamics, goals and mission involved in each game.

the game of video games might be good for mental health of the user. This is the research done by Oxford University, in the United Kingdom. Unlike the mind, which raises concerns about the impact of the game on young people, especially the study released in November 2020. showing that there is little correlation between the entertainment model and the mental health of the user, in addition to the positive aspects of society. The research examined the reflection of the game in the lives of three thousand adult players and the understanding is that the collaborative model proposed by game it creates “social control,” which becomes a viable choice for life in society, explains psychologist Luiz Mafle, PhD in psychology from PUC Minas and the University of Geneva. “We can understand that when there’s collaboration, and these are games that won’t show much competition among users, there’s an advantage, because there’s something other than games, that goes social. Here it is. this world, it is possible to communicate, which is beneficial for mental health, ”Mafle explains.

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) has even said that “game disorder” is an addictive behavior and that addiction is classified as a disease. However, the Oxford study shows the opposite situation, with positive results for those affected, albeit in advance. So in fact, Is the game good or bad for the minds of the players? To the expert, evaluation does not have a single answer to the question, because mental reflexes can vary with each dynamic, from the goals and missions involved in each step and the process. each gamification model. There are games that help with interaction, with user skills and memory, with spatial skills, collaboration and even decision making, which suggested by psychologists as an alternative treatment, says Vanessa Gebrim, a psychologist. “It contributes to the community, it helps a lot in that regard and there are also other reasons video games help, but it’s very serious to say that it helps with mental health, because otherwise you use it in moderation. it can be harmful. In the most severe cases, it can become addictive, damaging sleep and the body, causing fatigue and stress as well. “

In addition, it’s important to note that the research examined two game users considered “social”: Nintendo’s “Animal Crossing” and Electronic Arts’s “Plants vs. Zombies”., develops without violent behavior, which mitigates the potential for adverse effects on the mental health of those affected. However, violent games often “remove people from society” and the reflection in the study will be different. “One can do that [do jogo], is in the process of social learning and wants to emulate it in society, which is very worrying, ”notes Luiz Mafle, a psychologist. In other words, Professor Andy Przybylski, Director of Research at the Oxford Internet Institute, agrees that the research results do not mean “all video games are good” or “all players are profit ”, but the data is considered a first step for. science to understand the true impact of play on mental health. “Discussions about video games have focused on the fear that most gamers will become addicted, and our results contradict that view. [Eles] It suggests that games can be activities that are positively related to people’s mental health – and that the rules of the game can hold those benefits.

While for science the results are good, among game creators the evaluation is also good. Rogério Felix, director of game training and development at ZION, a training school for game creators, stressed that the game takes on “another part”, leaving the role of just fun and becoming a platform for of simulation, training, immersion and interaction ”. “I have no doubt that this will continue to strengthen the gaming market, as many studies have shown that the The best games, at the right time, done in the right way and applied in the right way, can create good results. The most important things we need to take into account are knowing how to choose the game, the workload that this student will enjoy playing the game, and understanding the family culture.”, Said Felix.

On the other hand: Watch out for children

Although the Oxford study noted that the use of games for adults can be beneficial to users, experts warn that it is important to be aware of the children’s audience. The neuroscience and child development expert at Projeto Pigmeu Ana Macedo explains that in children, the reflexes to play can be contradictory. According to him, in childhood the use of screens should be meaningless and games should focus on “motor, sound, cognitive and children’s abilities”. Among adolescents, anxiety is the release in the brain of “addictive substances responsible for running the system of rapid success”, which can lead the player to a false sense of ‘ the vision and control of the virtual world as opposed to the real world. , which causes frustration. “It’s hard to define the limits of fun and addiction,” said Ana Macedo, who points to the best games in her free time. “Choose games related to language development or about exploring the natural world. These games will be more productive and bring stronger and more beneficial benefits to health development, ”he added.

Another consideration needed, and one of the biggest issues in families – and psychology – is escape, especially in adolescence. In other words, users ’practice of using games as an“ escape valve ”in reality, is a worrying situation, as it can limit the development of social skills and the isolation of that person from family and from the so -called “real world”. . “Any situation we put in place as a solution to avoid social interaction and the challenges that arise is very worrying, because life in society requires us, at all times, to negotiate, read and be creative. new skills. And hiding behind the game could potentially limit progress. So, on the one hand, the game can be good, but if not moderate it can cause damage. It’s not necessary to connect with the virtual, but to stay with other things during the day ”, emphasizes psychologist Vanessa Gebrim.

Bad guy or good guy: How to evaluate?

According to experts, two points must be examined to assess whether a game is good or bad for mental health: the style of play and the age of the player, explains psychologist Luiz. Mafle. “There are games that offer activity, there are games that offer competition, others special skills and every now and then that’s what’s important for the community as a whole. So, in the situation each one we will see: does this competition make him or her isolated from society? Is it an addictive game to keep the person trapped? How old is the person using the game? Are you a 7-year-old child or a teenager up to 14 years old? Is it an opportunity for him to get into the game or a problem in the community? So, these two points: to what extent was the game created to keep the person trapped in it, to avoid ‘ social relationships, and how old people are, these developments are made to a better quality for the community. “

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