We’ve heard it all before: Video games cause anxiety.
They’re too violent. They’re toxic for today’s youth. But here’s one we bet you
haven’t heard yet: Video games can reduce an average of 57 percent of symptoms of
depression in kids who casually play them.
Crazy, right? We’ve all grown up with the media telling us
that video games will turn our brains to mush and make us act out, but
according to a study at East Carolina University, that may not always be the
case. Certain “casual” video games (family-friendly games such as Bejewled 2,
Peggle, and Bookworm) can actually have positive effects on the anxiety level
and overall mood of test subjects suffering from various forms of depression.
The games were even found to have both short and long term
effects. After 30 minutes of play, subjects’ overall mood and anxiety
levels improved, and after one month, the improvement was even more noticeable.
So what do the findings mean? Well, they certainly do not
mean that all video games will make you feel happy and calm. The games used in
this study were all family-friendly and non-violent, unlike so many games out
there today. Rest assured that video games involving guns or other violent plot
lines will not have the same results! It could, however, mean that there may be
a way to use “casual” video games as a supplement or even substitute to standard
therapies or medications for depression.
What’s your fave time-passing game to play? Gab about it,
BY BRIDGET RUNGE ON 2/21/2011 7:00:00 AM
POSTED IN games, dealing with depression, bad habit, In the News