Game Play as Medicine: Study Shows Online Games Reduce Pain and Depression

You’re stressed out. You know you have deadlines to meet, and playing games seems like a silly waste of time. But, did you know that online games can actually help you de-stress? They can also reduce pain and depression, according to a new study.

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Games Are Therapeutic

By using bittorrent clients like Vuze, you may find free open source games to download that are also legal and don’t infringe upon copyrights because the rights holders authorize free use and distribution of the games. That’s good news if you’re a child with a chronic illness (or you spend a lot of time with kids in hospitals). A research study by the University of Utah showed that video games can help kids diagnosed with autism, depression, and even Parkinson’s disease.

Video Games Improve Motor Skills

Video games have also been shown to improve motor skills in preschoolers. Allowing a 4-year-old to play videos games might not seem like a very productive use of time, but researchers from Deakin University showed otherwise. The study examined 53 preschool-aged children. They found that those who played interactive games had better motor skills than those who did not. Amazing.

Video Games Reduce Stress And Depression

Research shows that video games help people suffering from mental health issues like stress and depression. People who suffer from these illnesses were better able to vent their frustrations and aggression by playing games. They also showed marked improvement in symptoms.

Video Games Provide Pain Relief

Video games can bring relief from physical pain, it seems, too. Psychologists from the University of Washington showed that video games have the potential to immerse patients in an alternate reality, thus distracting the patient from the pain they’re going through. Patients in the study were engaged in a virtual reality game called “Snow World,” where they were given a limitless supply of snowballs to throw at targets.

Video games Improve Your Vision

Some video games can help with poor vision problems, like cataracts. Some games where the player is playing from a first person perspective can help some people focus more clearly on objects, according to research done at the Visual Development Lab of Ontario’s McMaster University.

Video Games Can Improve Your Decision-Making Skills

A lot of video games require split-second decision-making. This is where participants in a study conducted by neuroscientists at the University of Rochester in New York discovered that video games can improve decision-making skills. Action-oriented games act as a simulator for the decision-making process by giving players multiple opportunities to deduce information from their surroundings, forcing them to react accordingly. So, contrary to popular belief, those first-person shooters aren’t all bad – even with the extreme violence.

Games Can Help Keep You Happy In Old Age

Some seniors get depressed about getting old. They lose a lot of their independence. Video games can help keep seniors happy in their old age though, according to research from North Carolina State University. Researchers found that seniors that played video games, even occasionally, reported higher levels of happiness compared to those who did not. Julie Brunet researches internet usage and its effects on the body and mind. She often writes about her findings on health blogs.

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