Universities to study the impact of gaming on mental health

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Mental health and wellbeing of pro-gamers under spotlight in first-of-its-kind project

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Credit: University of Chichester

SCIENTISTS are set to examine the mental health of professional esports players in a new study which intends to unveil the impact of competitive gaming.

The project is being led by the universities of Chichester and Winchester, in collaboration with the esports industry, to improve the wellbeing of top players. It will specifically examine gamers involved with the popular online multiplayer Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Senior lecturer Dr Phil Birch, from the University of Chichester, said: “This project will advance the current lack of understanding of the factors influencing mental health in professional players. We hope to be in a better position to help gamers deal with the intense demands of gameplay.”

The study builds on previous research by Dr Birch and Dr Matt Smith, at University of Winchester, which found that elite esports players face significant stressors in their competitive lives.

Data collection for the project starts on May 10th and intends to comprehensively examine the factors influencing the health and wellbeing of pro-players. It also aims to help the multimillion-pound industry bring attention to the importance of health in the broader esports ecosystem.

The University’s esports course has become one of UK’s most popular since its launch in 2019. The three-year degree examines the impact of gaming through scientific study and covers the physical and psychological impact of esports, including nutrition, coaching, and strategy.

Chichester associate lecturer Benjamin Sharpe, who is working on the study with Dr Birch, added: “We believe this study will be vital for esports, as it’s important to understand how to best-support the health of gamers and keep them performing at the top level – just as any other athlete.”

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For more about the project email Dr Phil Birch at [email protected]

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James Haigh
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