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Microsoft is celebrating their Xbox Live service’s 10th birthday today, and instead of asking for gifts, they’re the ones doing the giving…
Today and tomorrow, all Xbox Live members will be able to download a free copy of Wreckateer. It would have been nice to give away a game that every Xbox 360 owner can play, but a free game is a free game. The Kinect-exclusive is regularly priced at 800 Microsoft Points ($10).
If Wreckateer isn’t your kind of game, Microsoft has also cut the price of seven of the biggest Xbox Live Arcade titles. Bastion (600 Microsoft Points), Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved (200 Microsoft Points), Castle Crashers (600 Microsoft Points), Fruit Ninja Kinect (400 Microsoft Points), Battlefield 1943 (600 Microsoft Points), Peggle (400 Microsoft Points), and Full House Poker (400 Microsoft Points) are all 50% off from today until November 22.
Xbox Live users can also download a special 10th anniversary Gamerpic this week. Doing so will enter you in a contest to obtain a special 10th anniversary Xbox 360 console. Yes, please.
Finally, Microsoft’s Major Nelson has given away 90 one-year Xbox Live Gold subscriptions so far today. He’s got 10 more he plans to give away in 15 minutes (at 7 PM Eastern), so head over to his blog and enter.
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.