THE link between video games and mental health is to go under the spotlight in a Barrhead man’s first documentary. 

Paul Ewing will explore changing attitudes to gamers as he looks to uncover the truth behind the pastime of nearly three billion people. 

The 33-year-old is on a mission to tackle the misconceptions around games, which he believes often depict them as violent and damaging to people’s wellbeing. 

“Usually articles about video games are sensationalist stuff like Grand Theft Auto made me kill my granny,” he said. “There’s never been a study to back up these claims.

“It if was true, then three billion people would be a ticking time bomb.

“It would like the apocalypse if that was the case.”

Throughout his documentary, Paul will feature experts in video games, mental health, and also those within the industry.

This will include Dr Matthew Barr, of the University of Glasgow, Matt Tan, and journalist Victoria Hood, gaming editor at TechRadar.

He added: “The documentary is looking at the relationship between mental health and video games, looking at both the positive and the negative.

“It was lockdown that really started it and it was a time where people were struggling with their mental health. People who wouldn’t usually be struggling could be because of the restrictions.

“I saw a number of article which suggested video games are good for your mental health, which was a bit of a shift.

“I turned to games quite a lot during lockdown. 

“They took my mind off things also helped me do a bit of self-reflection.”

Paul does have a personal connection to mental health issues, however.

Two of his uncles have taken their own lives as a result of personal demons and Paul is determined to help others suffering from mental health problems.

He says: “One uncle [took his life] back in 2001 and it was the first death in our family; that opened me up to the idea that mental health was an issue and people suffer in silence.

“Unfortunately, through lockdown, another uncle committed suicide.

“It was out the blue. That’s another motivation.”