A UK mental health charity has called for better support for videogame hobbyists. Over three weeks, the Mental Health Foundation studied 24 UK players aged 18 to 60 and produced a report to tell developers and producers how they can just do that.
The study, which looked at both the positive and negative impacts of gaming on the wellbeing of players, concludes with five recommendations for games developers and publishers to keep in mind: tackle harmful and toxic behaviours in communities, ensure meaningful inclusion and representation to tackle discrimination, embed mental health content, raise awareness of mental wellbeing more broadly, and help people play more intentionally through design features.
“It was clear from our research that people reported gaming as being positive for their mental wellbeing,” Mental Health Foundation head of research Catherine Seymour says. “However, there were also some shadow sides. We also found the impact of gaming on mental health varies greatly from person to person and is a very individual thing.
“That is why we have made these five recommendations to the industry. We think there is a lot that gaming companies can do for the players that buy their products. Being more responsive to tackling toxic communities, addressing discrimination, providing links to mental health resources, and thinking about game design can all help.”
You can read the report here or watch a video about these findings below:
If you’re looking for help or advice, or simply want more information on getting support, you can find a collection of resources from the Mental Health Foundation at the link.