Despite what “real gamers” would tell you about those who are increasingly getting addicted to handheld mobile games, the transition of the gaming industry from the desktop to that little supercomputer in your pocket is natural and inevitable.
It’s cheaper than buying a console, it’s fast, it’s easy, can be enjoyed by both serious and casual gamers. And according to a study conducted at University College London and The University of Bath, it’s one of the most effective ways to relieve stress after a hard day at work.
In fact, according to the study, it’s much more effective than say, meditation activities or prompt breathing.
Considering how big of a market the mobile gaming industry is, it’s good to see how it can positively cater to a modern culture that views relaxation as a valuable commodity. Today’s growing generation unfortunately, is one that can’t simply move past from the world-changing disasters of the past, effectively generating a culture of anxiety and public unease. To help combat this, an increasing number of developers have taken to creating mindfulness apps that are all intended to help the users calm down, control their breathing and practice meditation. However, simple mobile games that can kill time are showing to be a more effective solution.
The study that was made had two experiments to draw its data from. The first one asked 45 students to unwind via different mediums after a math test, while the second one asked 20 participants to use either a smart phone game or mindfulness app to unwind after work. Both experiments showed those who chose smart phone games are more relaxed and more in control.
“To protect our long-term health and well-being, we need to be able to unwind and recuperate after work. Our study suggests playing digital games can be an effective way to do this,” says lead author, Dr Emily Collins.
Following this, the authors noted that post-work recovery and relaxation is much more effective when the person playing is enjoying the actual smart phone game and isn’t just doing it to help pass the time.