A year-long study by East Carolina University suggests casual video games have a strong potency in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic had 60 subjects play three PopCap games: Bejeweled, Peggle, and Bookworm Adventures. The study found a 57% reduction of depression symptoms in the experiment group, a significant reduction in anxiety, and improvements in all aspects of mood. Dr. Carmen Russoniello, professor in charge of the study, claimed “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.” He also noted that playing the games had both noticeable short-term effects (in as little as 30 minutes) as well as long-term effects (after one month). This reminded me of the “Mapathy” campaign for Modern Warfare 2 DLC. Apparently the chick above was misdiagnosed; all she needed was a little FarmVille.
Take it how you want it, but personally, I’ll be dealing with my anxiety by plunging into Killzone 3 multiplayer next week, while the rest of you bow before your gilded altar of Reason.