A study has found playing video games can be good for your wellbeing. Both publishers provided data for the research - Nintendo provided data on the amounts of time players were spending in Animal Crossing, and EA additionally provided data on in-game achievements and the emoticons players used while playing.
In a first, the study used data provided by the game makers, Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America, on how much time the respondents spent playing, unlike previous research that relied on imprecise estimates from the players. Overall, the study says that people who played more video games reported greater "wellbeing" within the questionnaire, correlating with better mental health for those who play a lot of video games.
The paper said the level of enjoyment that players get from a game could be a more important factor for their well-being than mere playing time.
Lack of transparency from game makers has always been an issue for scientists hoping to better understand player behaviours and the authors said previous research used to propose advice for parents and policymakers was done without a robust evidence base.
'Our findings show video games aren't necessarily bad for your health; there are other psychological factors which have a significant effect on a person's wellbeing.
'Working with Electronic Arts and Nintendo of America we've been able to combine academic and industry expertise. "This lets us explain and understand games as a leisure activity".
The research was funded by the Huo Family Foundation, a London-based foundation, and the Economic and Social Research Council, a United Kingdom -government funded public body.
Professor Przybylski added: 'Policymakers urgently require reliable, robust, and credible evidence that illuminates the influences video games may have on global mental health, ' the paper concludes.
"In this study we show that collaborations with industry partners to obtain adequate data are possible".
'Research with these data can be done to academic standards - ethically and transparently.
"We are optimistic that collaborations of this sort will deliver the evidence required to advance our understanding of human play and provide policymakers the insights into how they might shape, for good or ill, our health".
They found playing violent video games such as Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty did not make children more aggressive.
The study comes just months after scientists at Massey University, the University of Tasmania and Stetson University reviewed multiple long-term studies into video games and aggression.
The study was led by Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University in Florida, who previously dismissed the causal link between video games and violent behaviour.