Saturday, 17 September 2011

Video Games Promoting Mental Health

Written by Nathalie Caron Wednesday, 24 August 2011 10:49

Individuals dealing with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety have been found to find help though video games. Backed up by research in the field of mental health, these psychological conditions have benefited from exposure to a variety of games.

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Kahlbaugh explained that recreating the experiences which these older adults previously enjoyed through the video games seemed to allow them to "regain the psychological benefits such activities once afforded them."

She studied a group of 36 participants of an average age of 82.6 years old, all in general good health. Sixteen were asked to play Nintendo Wii games for an hour a week, while the remaining 12 watched an hour, over the course of ten weeks. Those who played Wii games reported higher positive moods than the TV-watching group and made such comments as feeling "more a part of things" or feeling "more in" with the younger generation, creating a greater sense of self and purpose.

"There was an older gentleman who came to play a session with his old bowling trophies," said Kahlbaugh. "For him, playing the Wii was a way to recapture the fun and sense of achievement he had had in the past." Some participants were eager to continue playing and have set up weekly sessions with volunteers.

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