July 14, 2023

Can playing Dungeons and Dragons improve mental well-being?

Editor's Note

Researchers at the University of South Australia are studying the use of tabletop role-playing games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, to boost confidence and self-esteem in players to improve their mental well-being.

The research is part of a collaboration between the University of South Australia and social gaming company Minds at Play to better understand how tabletop role-playing games can promote social growth in players.

Among the findings:

  • Players who are socially isolated because of anxiety about social interactions grow in confidence and actively seek out face-to-face social groups.
  • Benefits extend beyond social growth because the nature of the games requires decision-making, negotiation, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Communication improves because players learn to articulate their thoughts, negotiate with others, and collaborate effectively.

Further research into the benefits of role-playing games has the potential to improve the quality of life, social inclusion, and well-being of neurodiverse individuals and people with disabilities, the researchers say.


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