Casual games found to help anxiety
A new study done by East Carolina University and underwritten by Pop Cap games shows that casual games can help reduce the level of anxiety and depression in people who have been diagnosed with clinical depression.
The study took place over one year and featured the games Peggle, Bejeweled 2, and Bookworm Adventures which were given to the almost 60 people.
ECU director of ECU Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic Dr. Carmen Russoniello, had this to say about the study,
“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,”
“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,”
The study found that there was a 57% reduction in people’s depression symptoms and found their anxiety had dropped as well.
There is conclusive evidence that playing video games has both a short term and long term positive influence on a person’s depression and anxiety, such a significant impact that Russoniello said,
“Given that only 25 percent 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,” and added “They should be made available at health clinics, community centers, online ‘medical sites’ and given out by therapists as a means of intervention.”
The study was done from July 2009 to August 2010 with 30 woman and 29 men. The experimental group had 18 choose to play Bejeweled 2, 7 choose Peggle, and 5 choose Bookworm Adventures. Over 70% of the people were not on medication and 63% of the people said they would describe themselves as gamers.