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Category: Gaming

Casual Games Used To Treat Depression and Anxiety; Cityville Coming to Drugstores?

Written on February 17, 2011 by Kristoff Jones

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Are you feeling depressed? Well maybe a game of Bejeweled can put your happy hormones back on track!

Who would have thought those hundreds of hours playing PlayFish or could lead to happiness? A recent clinical study from East Carolina University (we love you!) finds that playing like or has significantly reduced depression and by 57%, and we’re not kidding.

The study had 59 adult subjects who were diagnosed with clinical depression. Half of them (although we don’t know how you’ll equally split 59 people) were subjected to games like Bejeweled 2, Bookworm Adventures or for 12 sessions for 40 minutes each within a month. Even after the first session, the group already showed siginificant decrease of depression and anxiety symptoms.

The researcher further elaborates the findings: “The results of this randomized clinical study clearly demonstrate the intrinsic value of certain casual games in terms of significant, positive effects on depression and anxiety symptoms… In our opinion these findings support the use of prescribed casual for treating depression and anxiety as an adjunct to, or even replacement for, standard therapies including medication.”

Depression and anxiety symptoms are measured through standardized questionnaires that were given before and after gameplay. Physiological sensors were also used to measure heart rate and brain functionality of the subjects.

No word yet from PlayFish and Zynga Games if they’re planning to make their games available in drugstores, but after the findings, they really should.

So here’s to another triumph for videogames, MOM.

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