We are proud to announce the start of our study, contributing data to a better understanding of the psychology behind what makes playing games feel great. It will run for 4 months, and we hope to publish our results in a scientific journal. This research has been approved by our local ethics and governance committees.
What is the Study About?
CheckPoint are a non-profit organisation who act to connect mental health resources with video games and technology. We believe that games and tech can be used beneficially in mental healthcare, but there needs to be more solid data about how this might work. Our study is looking into the connections between video games and the moods and emotions of the players, to find out with greater detail what it is about games that make people feel good, why this happens and how we might be able to use this in the future to help people with mental health problems.
Why Are We Doing This Research?
There has already been a number of papers published which show that video games can help people in all sorts of ways. For example, certain games can lift mood, help relaxation, reduce stress, help people regulate their emotions, increase self-confidence, and even reduce levels of depression and anxiety. There are games being designed specifically to treat certain conditions, like anxiety disorders, PTSD and eating disorders.
However, most of the medical community find the idea of using games to treat health conditions to be very strange! It took us 9 months to get this study approved, and most of that was spent justifying why exactly we want to look into video games. A lot of the time games are seen as a toy, for children, or even the cause of violence and aggressive behaviour (despite this being persistently disproved in a number of studies). This is a shame because the evidence suggests that games could help a lot of people, and perhaps already are. We want to contribute research that will strengthen and explore this evidence.
What Do We Hope Will Come Of It?
We believe that games would be a valuable therapy for all sorts of issues: they’re cheap (in comparison to traditional therapy and medication), they’re familiar to lots of people, and they’re very motivating – the idea of helping people to get better while having fun should not be overlooked. The way forward to see more therapeutic games get developed, and to help the ones that are already being made, is for more data to come about exploring the benefits we already know exist. So we’re looking at what games people play, how they play, and what their thoughts and feelings are while they’re playing.
The Science Stuff:
This study will provide descriptive data on the correlations between psychological experiences during video game play, and positive mental wellbeing. We will explore variables such as the nature of benefit and the potential mechanisms involved.
Study Type: Cross-sectional self-report survey
Research Type Descriptive Research
Data Type: Quantitative
Recruitment: Voluntary, self-recruited adults, to an anonymous online survey
How You Can Get Involved:
If you are over 18 and have access to the internet, you are eligible to take part. It is completely anonymous and we don’t collect any contact information or spam you afterwards.
And if you would like to keep up to date with the results on publication, please sign up to our mailing list (don’t worry, it will be stored separately from your survey. All results are completely anonymous).
If you’ve been affected by anything here on CheckPoint and would like to talk to someone, please refer to our Global Mental Health Directory, or talk to your GP, local health professional or someone you trust.