Being somebody who is diagnosed as having and being treated for depression and other mental illness, it's interesting to read something like this (source:GamePress.com) detailing a study that casual games can reduce clinical depression and anxiety. It is interesting though that whereas the casual games can help a bit with psychological disorders, that there is a lack of mention of ADD and OSD, which can turn the therapeutic affects of the casual game into a kind of addiction that can also affect the mental health of a person. Sort of punches holes in the argument of people who don't believe in mental illness, saying it's somebody trying to call attention to themselves. *Disclaimer* the study was underwritten by PopCap Games, makers of casual games mentioned in the study. But they may have a case, those games are challenging yet relaxing.. I don't have a PHD, I dunno!
First-of-Its-Kind Clinical Study by East Carolina University Establishes
Efficacy of Bejeweled® and Other Games in Reducing Clinical Depression and Anxiety
East Carolina University’s Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic
today revealed the results of a year-long randomized, controlled
clinical study that measured the efficacy of so-called “casual” video
in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety as a co-morbid condition.
Nearly 60 subjects, half of whom served as controls, all meeting the
criteria of clinical depression, participated in the study, which
involved three family-friendly, non-violent puzzle games:
(All of the games are made by PopCap Games,
underwriter of the study.) The hypothesis was tested using
state-of-the-art technologies including psychophysiology, biochemical
and psychological measurements, and found an average reduction in
depression symptoms of 57% in the experimental (“video game”)
group. The study, the first such research ever to measure the efficacy
of video games in reducing depression and anxiety, also found
significant reduction in anxiety, as well as improvements in all aspects
of mood, among study subjects who played the casual video games.
“Compliance was not an issue in this study with all participants meeting minimum playing time requirements and there were no side effects reported in the month long study. Given that only 25% of people who suffer from depression are receiving treatment, it seems prudent to make these low cost, readily accessible casual games video games available to those who need them. They should be made available at health clinics, community centers, online 'medical sites' and given out by therapists as a means of intervention.”
(Amazon.com does not endorse the findings nor is it involved in any way with the CVG study)
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