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onsdag den 16. februar 2011

Video games cures depressions?

Here's a fun and interesting article i read on Kotaku about casual puzzle games being able to cure depressions. I hope you enjoy the article!

While more mainstream video games are under fire for causing depression, a new study at East Carolina University finds that playing casual puzzle games is an effective way to combat clinical depression and anxiety. Guess who underwrote the study? 

East Carolina University's Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic have spent the past year putting 60 test subjects meeting the criteria for clinical depression through a grueling series of PopCap-brand casual puzzle games. Using technologies with long, important-sounding names like psychophysiology and biochemical and psychological measurements, the study found that subjects in the video game group experienced an average reduction in depression symptoms of 57 percent.

The study was underwritten by PopCap Games, one of the world's leading casual game publishers.

Subjects that played Bejeweled 2, Bookworm Adventures, and Peggle - all PopCap games, of course - also experienced a significant reduction in anxiety and improvement to all aspects of mood.

In a press release accompanying this news, the study's author actually suggested that casual games were so effective at treating depression they could potentially be used to replace common treatment options, including medication.

"The results of this study clearly demonstrate the intrinsic value of certain casual games in terms of significant, positive effects on the moods and anxiety levels of people suffering from any level of depression" stated Dr. Carmen Russoniello, Director of the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at ECU and the professor who oversaw the study (as well as previous studies involving the same games' effects on stress levels). "In my opinion the findings support the possibility of using prescribed casual video games for treating depression and anxiety as an adjunct to, or perhaps even a replacement for, standard therapies including medication."

I don't know how far I'd trust a study heralding the positive benefits of casual gaming that's been underwritten by one of the world's top publishers of casual games, but the results, if accurate, are quite impressive. We've seen video games used as therapy for physical ailments. Why not the mental ones?

25 kommentarer:

  1. I must be depressed a lot of times!

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  2. All PopCap games just make you feel happy

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  3. I couldn't agree more Dnoop!

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  4. Plants vs. Zombies was fun. Gameplay just absorbs you and makes you forget whatever that's depressing you for a couple of hours.

    Yea games indeed cure depression.

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  5. Agreed @Bent. I feel great with puzzles. Challenging myself and getting the feeling of reward once I solve them. Try 'Geared' on the iphone great puzzle (but only starting from level 80)

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  6. I challenge anyone who is suffering from depression to play Katamari Damacy for an hour. If their depression has not been improved, then something is wrong with them.

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  7. 'need a pick-me-up?.. try popcap' following ;)

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  8. more and more studies are showing that the negative viewpoint of society on videogames is completelly wrong, there's this study that proves that a gamer its more prepared for unexpected sutiations that a nongamer

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  9. games really helps to cure depresion. it helped for me :)

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  10. There's less and less evidence nowadays that videogames have a negative impact on most people. There are studies that show an increase in dexterity, intelligence and general mental skills, and now one that suggests it can improve depression. Things are looking good for gaming.

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  11. anything that distracts your mind for a while is good against stress etc.

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  12. When I have a rough day, I'll play a round of tetris or Katamari Damacy on no time mode.

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  13. games do help you get out of depression but they you become dependant on them to even feel good at all like a drug. so I would say there are healthier ways to cure depression.

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  14. interesting stuff. games sure do cheer me up! :)

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  15. Sometimes I get depressed if I finish a game I've been playing for a long time. Makes me feel kind of empty.

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  16. I can buy that, I also believe it lowers crime as well, it can keep people that much content (usually)

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