Video game playing may fulfill innate human need

Playing video games can satisfy deep psychological needs and, at least in the short term, improve people’s well-being, new research shows.

The more a game fulfilled a player’s sense of independence, achievement and connectedness to others, the more likely he or she was to keep playing, Dr. Scott Rigby of Immersyve, a Florida-based virtual environment think tank, and colleagues from the University of Rochester in New York found. And the more fully a player’s needs were satisfied, the better he felt after playing.

“We think this is really one of the first validated models of what is going on psychologically when people are playing video games,” Rigby told Reuters Health in an interview. To date, he noted, research on video games has focused on their potentially harmful effects, such as promoting social isolation, addiction, and violence.

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