Fantasy football is a game in which participants create a virtual team of famous football players. Depending on the statistics of the victories of their prototypes, players gain credits. The game is very popular all over the world, the number of participants has already reached 7 million, and mostly young men.
The University of Nottingham conducted the first study on the mental health effects of fantasy football. Scientists surveyed 1,995 players from 96 countries, most of them men with an average age of 33. The respondents filled out questionnaires, in which they talked about how much time they devote to fantasy football, about their mood, social adaptation and habits.
Almost half of the participants (44%) reported spending more than 45 minutes a day playing a game, paying at least 60 minutes to supporting content (podcasts, blogs, analytics) and thinking about fantasy football for over 120 minutes. Another 34% of active users said that the very process of the game makes them feel a little anxious, and 37% admitted that fantasy football has worsened their quality of life.
Scientists have also found that active participation in various fantasy football social media communities further exacerbated the psychological state of active players. Unlike other video games, fantasy football victories and successes do not depend on the skill of the participants, but on the players in real football matches, and the lack of adequate control of the game contributes to an increase in anxiety and anxiety, the researchers noted.
“Fantasy football is not a win-win for the vast majority of participants, and the more a person puts in the effort, the more negative consequences it will have for him when he“ loses ”. Our research warns of the potential downsides of this game and shows the need to limit the amount of time young people spend on fantasy football, ”The Guardian quotes Dr. Luke Wilkins, lead author of the study.