Beyond the Screen: How Gaming Can Help with Mental Well-being

In this blog, our intern Edesiri (Ed) Eyeregba shares how video games have boosted his confidence and positively impacted his mental well-being, despite his sensory impairments. Find out more about Edesiri in his introductory blog on the HIN website.

Despite common misconceptions, video games can offer more than just entertainment. A conference run by the World Health Organisation (Europe) explored how video games can improve mental well-being, train healthcare professionals and even assist those with physical limitations. With over 2 billion active gamers worldwide, gaming has real potential to significantly impact health and care promotion.

For example, in 2013, the Department of Health and the NHS partnered with gaming company Six to Start to create ‘The Walk’. The Walk is a mobile game app that encourages frequent walking habits. Users must complete a set number of steps to successfully finish chapters from the game’s 65 episodes and 800 minutes of audio story. The difficulty of ‘The Walk’ also adapts according to a learning algorithm, ensuring players of all fitness levels can enjoy the game.

More recently in 2022, a national study funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and delivered by nine NHS Trusts found that automated Virtual Reality technology can help people recover from mental health problems. Researchers at the University of Oxford and Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust found that automated therapy was shown to positively influence patients diagnosed with psychosis.

As a visually impaired person, I have found gaming to be transformative, especially during times of isolation. Games like Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty, which involve a lot of team activities, have improved my social and communication skills while providing a means to connect with friends.

While certain games have potential benefits for mental health, I believe they also prepare individuals for real-world interactions, fostering resilience. Online multiplayer gaming in particular offers players a platform that helps forge friendships and boost confidence. Games like Minecraft and Roblox provide safe spaces for individuals to socialise and develop essential skills such as problem-solving and teamwork.


  • Minecraft is a sandbox video game that fosters players’ creativity by allowing them to build their own virtual world. It is also a great platform for improving social skills, especially for people who struggle with social anxiety. Players can join online servers where they can communicate with players from all over the world and work together to build different structures. This enables them to communicate effectively, share ideas and work as a team.


  • Roblox can help people connect with friends, destress, and develop their problem-solving skills in a safe online environment. It also allows players to connect and share adventures when they are not able to meet face-to-face. This was highly popular during the Covid-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdowns when people were required to stay at home. Players also have the freedom to create their own game with readily available tools, allowing them an avenue to enhance their creativity.

Personally, I enjoy playing a wide variety of games, including story-driven ones like the Last of Us, Horizon Forbidden West and the Cobra Kai series. Gaming is something I enjoy, and it has helped me to become a more confident person.

Though I have a visual impairment, gaming makes me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to.

In September 2023, the Health Innovation Network (HIN) South London and DigitalHealth.London welcomed our very first intern from NHS Choices College, Edesiri (Ed) Eyeregba, an inspiring young man who was born with a visual impairment. NHS Choices College provide tailored educational support and a supported internship course for young adults aged 16-24 with learning difficulties/disabilities or autism.

To find out more about Ed and the work he has supported at the HIN, please check out