Good Vibes —Exploring How & Why Games Are Good For You
For Good Vibes this week we are shining a spotlight an Australian charity organisation that are doing amazing things at the intersection of mental health and gaming, two things which are really important to us at Leaping Tiger! CheckPoint are a non-profit organisation connecting mental health resources with video games and technology. It’s is run by two wonderful women — Dr Jennifer Hazel and Jane Cocks. They believe games play a promising role in mental health care, however unfortunately there is a significant stigma against them and little knowledge about the risks and benefits.
CheckPoint are currently conducting a survey exploring how and why video games can be psychologically good for us. If you are over 18 and have access to the internet, you are eligible to take part! It is completely anonymous, has been approved by local ethics and governance committees, and will run for 4 months. They hope to publish the results in a scientific journal.
There have already been a number of papers published which show that video games can help people in all sorts of ways. Whether lifting mood, helping relaxation, reducing stress, helping people regulate their emotions, increasing self-confidence, and even reducing 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 CheckPoint 9 months to get this study approved, and most of that was spent justifying why exactly the study wanted to focus on 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. So, hopefully this research will provide data to strengthen and explore this evidence!
Good Vibes is first shared during Leaping Tiger Live show, 7pm Tuesdays and 10:30am Fridays NZT over on Twitch. Tune in for gaming news, reviews, events, quizzes and much more!