Go 8 Bit gaming survey highlights positive social effects of gaming

Gaming as an activity has never been more popular, but that of course just makes it a larger target for certain parts of the mainstream media. And while we shouldn’t feel too under fire, look at the bats that get swung at footballers or the current open-season on Hollywood’s ethics, it’s always good to see a more positive outlook on gaming from the mainstream media.

In this case, it’s the return of Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit on Dave, now in its third season, that has shone a soft light upon the industry. Dave commissioned OnePoll to do a survey of 1,000 gamers aged 18-30 and the results are most pleasing.

60 per cent of respondents felt gaming is a key component of their social life. The average person playing games has made up to three friends through gaming. And over a third claim that playing a game online with other people has helped to increase their confidence levels.

They also found out that 42% per cent of those surveyed feel at their happiest when performing well in a video game. Which is a possibly a little concerning, but then the under 30s largely don’t have children – so we’ll let them off.

It’s might be telling that three in five respondents believed gaming is misrepresented, though bird watchers, morris dancers and (metal) detectorists would probably also all claim that people didn’t understand their hobbies either.

That three in ten gamers believe playing video games has helped them to process or deal with a mental health issue or concern is both cheering, in that gaming has helped, and concerning, that so many feel such concerns to begin with. And that ties in with fifty-five per cent playing video games predominantly to help them unwind and relieve stress after a tough time. With 1 in 2 admitting they value gaming as a method of escapism to process the worries of daily life.

Luke Hales, Dave General Manager, said: “We’ve loved watching stars come together and unleash their competitive sides across the three series of Dara O Briain’s Go 8 Bit to date. But this survey is incredibly revealing in showing the positive mental benefits of getting together for a gaming session.”

Go 8 Bit returns to screens Monday 12th February at 10pm on Dave.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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