Social video gaming and well-being

Nicholas David Bowman, Diana Rieger, Jih Hsuan Tammy Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Despite stereotypes of video games as isolating technologies, video gaming can be a highly social activity that contributes to well-being. Advances in computing technology and greater social acceptance of video gaming have led to overall increases in gameplay in social scenarios. Our review focuses on three areas of research relevant to understanding social gaming and well-being: social play in video games (both past and present social play, and forms of tandem play), social gaming and psychological recovery (both short-term recovery and long-term resilience), and the use of emerging technologies to connect via gaming (such as game streaming and augmented/virtual reality). Throughout the article, we also highlight deficiencies in extant research and offer suggestions for how social scholarship on video games can move forward with well-being in mind. While existing research generally demonstrates the social dynamics of gaming and demonstrates the role of games for well-being, a robust and directed merging of these two complimentary lines of research is currently lacking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101316
JournalCurrent Opinion in Psychology
StatePublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Game streaming
  • Need satisfaction
  • Recovery
  • Socialization
  • Video games
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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