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Commercial Video Games Could Help Treat Mental Illness, Research Shows

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game controller image in brain on laptop computer screen

Credit: JMIR

Popular video games have the potential to provide low-cost, easy access, effective, and stigma-free support for some mental health issues, according to research carried out at University of Limerick and Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software.

Video games could be used where conventional therapies are not available because of cost or location, or as an addition to traditional therapeutic treatments for depression or anxiety, the team at Lero says.

The researchers describe their work in "Gaming Your Mental Health: A Narrative Review on Mitigating Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety Using Commercial Video Games," published in JMIR Serious Games.

Mounting scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of commercial video games to improve mental health outcomes, says Lero researcher Dr Mark Campbell. "It is worth considering commercial video games as a potential alternative option for the improvement of various aspects of mental health globally," he says.

From University of Limerick
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