Oxford University research suggests video gaming can benefit mental health

Playing video games can be positive for your mental wellbeing, new research suggests.

Oxford University researched almost 3000 gamers playing Nintendo's Animal Crossing and EA's Plant vs. Zombies.

It found "video game play is positively correlated with well-being".

The research appears to debunk the popular myth that gaming is just a way of wasting time.

Oxford University researchers found gaming might offer users a sense of community. 

It was particularly important during the worldwide lockdown, when user numbers soared.

The team was able to link up psychological questionnaires with true records of time spent playing games.

But it's not just students gaming for their mental healths, even Kiwi politicians are giving it a go.

Green MP Ricardo Menendez March is himself a huge gamer. He says it's allowed him to connect with family and friends overseas.

"One of the things that really made me enjoy the game was the element of socialising in the game and the ability to connect with others," he told Newshub Nation.

But before you rush out to buy the latest console, academics here have a warning.

Dr Sarah Cowie, senior lecturer at Auckland University says the study didn't look at other popular games, like Fortnite, or mine-craft.

"This doesn't say go out and play any sort of video game," she told Newshub.

"We don't know from the study which particular aspects of those video games, in particular, that make it beneficial to your wellbeing."

While gamers seem sure the benefits are there, some academics still need more convincing.