University of Chichester to study the impact of gaming on mental health

Scientists are set to examine the mental health of professional video game players in a new study which intends to reveal the impact of competitive gaming.

The project, which is being led by the universities of Chichester and Winchester, in collaboration with the esports industry, aims to improve the wellbeing of top players.

It will specifically examine gamers involved with the popular online multiplayer Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

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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 project aims to improve the wellbeing of top video game players

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 Monday (May 10) and intends to 'comprehensively examine' the factors influencing the health and wellbeing of pro-players.

The University of Chichester said the project also aims to help the multimillion-pound industry bring attention to the importance of health in the broader esports ecosystem

The university said its 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, said: “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.”

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