Mental health is improved by watching game shows, poll says
It’s a weekday evening, around 7 p.m. Someone clicks the channel button, goes through infomercials and soap operas, looking for something the whole family can enjoy because no one can agree on a movie or TV show. Suddenly the words âIt’s Jeopardy! Are spoken by the voice of a narrator, followed by a thought-out musical theme as the candidates are introduced.
This is the typical experience when discovering a game show. DePaul junior Caylah Johnson said his first experience with game shows was in his infancy.
“I have very good memories [of game shows]”Said Johnson.” The suspense they created with the challenges put me in trouble with the competitors. I would always claim that I could easily take on the challenges despite being five years old. “
Johnson is not alone in this case, many DePaul students watched game shows in their youth, especially with the rise of cable TV in the late 1990s to the mid-2000s. DePaul students like Johnson and sophomore Emily Townley said they associated the game shows with happy memories of their childhoods, especially with their families at night.
“My family and I are watching âFamily Feudâ at 7:00 pm and âJeopardy! “At 7:30 am, at least when I’m around,” Townley said. âMy favorite game show of all time is ‘Jeopardy!’ This is not due to the quality of Alex Trebek. His humility and intelligence have never ceased to amaze me. I moved around a lot, and one of the most consistent things in my life was sitting down to watch Jeopardy.
In March, the Journal of Psychological Rehabilitation and Mental Health conducted a to study on the correlation between game shows and mental health. The study found that people’s mental health improved when they watched game shows. This is due to their interactive nature, allowing the mind to engage in something other than what can deter their positivity, thus creating a more positive space.
But, junior Lazarus Howell said he doesn’t agree. âI wouldn’t tie game shows to my happiness or my sanity at all,â Howell said. âI believe it’s just a form of content that people can consume. [Game shows] did not help me through difficult times.
Johnson said she agreed with Howell. She said that game shows made her happy as a child and made her feel smarter, but they no longer serve that purpose. âGame shows don’t necessarily increase my happiness now, because now that my grandmother is gone, I really don’t have anyone I enjoy watching them with,â Johnson said.
âPlus now that I’m older it’s harder to watch the competition and know they’re playing because they really need the money. It’s not a game they play for fun, it’s a game they play for money [their] mortgage or finance their children’s school fees. There are real struggling people in America who are on these shows. As a child, I found it encouraging that there were people like me, as smart as me, who [have] the chance to earn thousands and get out of debt! Now, it’s scary to think that people like me could be put in stressful financial situations just because of systems that have failed us and that we as a society refuse to improve.
Townley disagreed with Johnson and Howell. She said the study matched her experiences, especially during the pandemic. “‘Danger!’ made the pandemic slightly more bearable, âTownley said.[Game shows] definitely improve my mood. Watch âJeopardy! Takes my mind off the things that stress me out. Every time I watch it my goal is to play with the characters and not focus on what’s going on around me.
Despite these positive correlations between mental health and game shows, Johnson said she didn’t go out of her way to watch them, they were just at home or in a public place.
âGame shows were something I watched when I had to watch live TV,â Johnson said. âNow that we live in an age where you can choose which television to watch at any time, I usually choose fiction shows to watch or reality TV. “
While game shows were applicable to people’s happiness, especially in their childhood, many do not relate to this day, especially with the era of streaming shows. But, Game Show Network (GSN), the cable network that broadcast “Family Feud, “Wheel of Fortune “and others, has adapted to the recent streaming trend. Currently, GSN airs on Philo, Sling TV, FuboTV and DirecTV Stream. It is also still televised on cable.