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The game has seen significant growth in 2020. On all platforms, consumers have embraced the alternative game world (2.7 billion games worldwide). At the same time, the use of mobile applications hit a record high in the second quarter of 2020. Both are clear examples of global blockade measures driving momentum.

But what effect does all these games have on our mental health?

WePC commissioned a survey to explore the impact of games on our everyday mindset. The results may surprise you!

For decades, computer games have been portrayed as a negative hobby, leading to poor mental health and antisocial behavior. Due to the global pandemic, the world has been forced into a lockdown. As consumers gain insight into this ideal pastime of escapism, the popularity of global games will increase exponentially in 2020.

During this period, the rapid popularity of computer games unleashed long-standing media narratives, positioning gaming as a passive pastime . At WePC, our passion for games means that we want to explore the connection between mental health and games.

We know that this year is a challenge for many people. As people's interest in games grows stronger, it is important for us to explore and understand some of the shame that accompanies our favorite hobbies!

Therefore, we asked 1,024 people in the United States what they thought to determine how gaming might affect their mental health. The

survey was conducted on September 22, 2020 with 1,024 American respondents, using only the most recent U.S. Census to understand gender and age balance.

More than 36% of the respondents were 51 years of age or older.

We asked people how much time they spend playing games each week. There are some cool surprises that will surely counter the player's stereotypes!

Unsurprisingly, 64% of respondents stated that they spend 110 hours a week playing games, while professional gamers accounted for only 8% of the respondents (31 hours or more per week).

Let's take a look at the changes in game time with age, gender, game type, and equipment to see if there is any interesting information.

We have seen that 64% of the players in the survey are casual gamers (they play 110 hours a week). The three most prominent game types in this segment are puzzles (30%), first-person shooters (9.1 %), sports (6.3%).

The very popular type of puzzle game 4560+ has a large number of outliers (27.2% of the respondents). As expected, first-person shooter (FPS) games played at 1829 (12.8%)

compared to casual players (110 hours)

. We can see that there is gender bias, and more women (31.9%) play games in a more informal way Than men (27.9%).

When we focused on hardcore players (more than 31 hours), a sea-shaking change took place. Among them, males accounted for 5.5% and males accounted for 2.1%, a difference of 161.90%.

Not surprisingly, 1829 is the leader in game time and holds 42.5% of the shares. The age group over 60 is higher than expected, reaching 7.5% of hardcore players.

casual players who play within 110 hours a week are classified as casual players.

According to the Google/Kantar TNS 2018 Casual Game Game Duration Study, 33% of casual gamers play games because they are easy to understand, and 63% of casual gamers play games to pass the time. This is supported by the strong correlation with the WePC survey, in which 47% of respondents said they found it distracted from their daily lives.

More statistics on the video game industry

Mobile devices account for 72% of casual gamers, which is related to the popularity of mobile games.

We can see that mobile games have a great impact on gamers, representing 45% of gamers. The popularity of 4,444 mobile games has accelerated the growth of casual games, and 72.3% of mobile users in the United States are mobile game players (IAB Trends, 2016). There are now 2.2 billion mobile game players around the world. Of these, 203 million are in the United States. 56% of them play more than 10 times a week (Hubspot, 2020).

To illustrate the popularity of mobile games, a study by Statista in 2020 asked American gamers which platform they prefer to play games. The results found that 61% of people use smartphones and 52% use dedicated consoles. 49 % Of people play PC games.

More statistics on mobile games

Taking the two largest market segments as examples, you can see that 64% of casual mobile game players are between 30 and 60 years old. Seeing that 63% of casual gamers admit that the game is killing time, this is expected to have a strong correlation, because we can conclude that this part is more likely to spend most of the day going to and from get off work.

Although the value of the online gaming market is expected to reach 79 billion US dollars by 2025 (Adroit, 2020), in our survey, single-player gamers still account for 76.9% of the respondents. This is related to the popularity of casual games (64% of respondents play 110 hours a week), because single-player games are easier to pick up and get off of than multiplayer games.

And the popularity of casual mobile games will also affect the popularity of single-player games.

Interestingly, 46% of the respondents said that they gambled because they found that gambling distracted the stress of daily life, and 29% said that they gambled to stay mentally active. This means that 75% of respondents use games to help their mental health.

By dividing the reasons why people play games by age, you can see some interesting ideas emerge. Staying mentally active is even more important as 12% of the 60+ age group said this is the main reason they play.

Interesting that you can see a distinctive

I want to make sure they stay physically and mentally healthy.

The age group 45 to 60 years scored higher in distractions in daily life (14%) and staying mentally active (10%). According to a 2018 study, the average life expectancy in the United States is 76.1 years. We can argue that people are more likely to worry about their mortality and therefore focus on maintaining a healthy body and mind.

We can see that casual gamers (110 hours per week) did not realize whether gambling has an impact on mental health (41%), but 18% of casual gamers said that games have a positive impact on Mental health. Interestingly, when you leave the casual game players segment, you will see that people have positive or negative opinions about the impact of games on mental health. In all market segments, there is an overwhelming view that the positive impact of gaming on mental health is much greater than the negative impact.

According to the respondents who answered positively or negatively, we can see that puzzle games (32.5%),

first-person shooters/FPS (26.2%) and ActionAdventure (7%) stated that they have a positive impact on mental health. We have seen that mobile games are very popular, especially puzzle games which are very popular for this mobile audience. FPS and ActionAdventure games can provide a strong escape from reality and support young groups who use games to distract their daily lives.

Respondents who only look at positive or negative responses have no significant outliers, that is, the more they play, the greater the negative impact on their mental health.

Contrary to popular belief, our survey found that games have a positive effect on the mental health of most people. However, when we analyzed in depth, some interesting factors emerged from the response.

mobile games now have the largest share of the global game market (48%), and by 2020 the global mobile game industry will reach 76.7 billion U.S. dollars (WePC / Statista). The

growth seems to be partly attributable to the benefits people get from games on mobile devices.

In our survey, 83.5% (162 in total) of the respondents who found that gaming has a positive impact on their mental health are mainly playing games on mobile devices; being distracted (41%) and being mentally active (29%) ) Is the main motivation. Could it be because they are easily accessible?

Researchers have previously found evidence that video games have a lasting positive effect on basic mental processes such as perception, attention, memory, and decision-making [1], and the older generation in the United States appears to support these affirmations.

Top Findings:

[1]

This survey questions negative views about the game and hopes to remove some of the stigma that players face. There is a false belief that all forms of gambling are harmful to mental health, but the truth is that it only becomes a problem when gambling excessively.

As with anything, if you overdo it, you are likely to experience negative side effects. Overindulgence in gambling is usually a solution to an existing problem, not the cause of the problem itself.

Many positive effects on mental health can be attributed to the type of games in which consumers participate. Facts have shown that skillful games, such as puzzle games, are the most popular among people with improved mental health. Players who prefer single player games to multiplayer games are more likely to report a positive impact on their mental state.

Over the next several weeks, we hosted a series of wonderful interviews to explore our research findings and debunk some of the negative stigma attached to gambling.

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