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Study: Casual Video Games Demonstrate Ability to Relieve Stress, Improve Mood: Potential Clinical Significance Highlighted
Date:4/28/2008

men, however, Bookworm Adventures had the greatest depression-reducing effect, with male subjects accounting for 98% of depression reduction, on average, when playing that game. "All three games, but particularly Peggle, should be used in more focused trials with a group of clinically depressed subjects, to gauge the effects," suggested Dr. Russoniello. "If these games can reduce depression this significantly among a population of people who are not diagnosed with depression, the potential for positively affecting the mental state of someone who is in fact depressed is very significant."

Vigor

Vigor is the only positive variable reflected in the POMS and represents a state of increased mental energy. Bejeweled 2 increased vigor by an average of 210% among subjects who played that game. Bookworm (10%) and Peggle (24%) had modest affects on subjects' vigor levels. Among players of Bejeweled 2, females accounted for 59% of the overall increase in vigor.

Fatigue

Peggle had the most significant impact on fatigue, reducing it by an average of 61% among subjects who played that game. Bejeweled 2 (49%) and Bookworm Adventures (33%) also reduced fatigue. Peggle was nearly equally effective at reducing fatigue among male (52%) and female (48%) subjects.

Confusion

Compared to the control group surfing the Web for articles (which collectively experienced a modest decrease in confusion), all three games reduced confusion dramatically, suggesting that the rules, objectives and input controls for the game were very clearly understood by the subjects. Subjects playing Peggle saw confusion drop by an average of 486%, while those playing Bookworm Adventures (462%) and Bejeweled 2 (426%) also experienced sizable reductions in confusion. "These findings are especially intriguing as they present the possibility that casual games may be useful in ameliorating conditions such as attention deficit disorder, memory loss and general confusion attribu
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SOURCE East Carolina University
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