Feeling depressed? Play Peggle or Bejewelled

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East Carolina University has just conducted further research into the effects of PopCap’s casual games Bejeweled 2, Peggle and Bookworm Adventures. We say “further research” because PopCop has been behind this sort of thing before.

The research was conducted over a month and monitored 59 patients with clinical depression. One portion of the group was given PopCap games to play and the rest were told to spend the time browsing the National Institute of Mental Health’s webpage. The latter portion of the test subjects made up the control group. Not surprisingly, those who were told to browse the same website for a month didn’t fare as well as the group that got to play games.

According to the head of the research, Dr. Carmen Russoniello, the gaming group saw a 57% reduction in their symptoms of depression. This was enough to prompt a recommendation that clinical psychologists prescribe the games as a means of controlling clinical depression.

Dr. Carmen Russoniello is no stranger to conducting research on PopCap’s casual games. He has used titles like Bejeweled in the past to draw conclusions that such titles help to prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

On both occasions, PopCap has underwritten the research; clever marketing or genuine interest?

Source: Eurogamer; 1Up

Last Updated: February 17, 2011

Miklós Szecsei

I'm a freelance writer who has somehow managed to convince people to pay me to play video games. By day I work a job, but by night and early hours of the morning, I write about video games. The one job provides a living for my family; the other provides a living for my soul. Dramatic, right?

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