29 September 2009

Nichols said she discovered the mental health benefits of video games some years ago during a particularly bad spell of depression. She had just started playing a game called Bejeweled, which requires players to move gems into rows based on their color. When she could not get to sleep one night and was tormented by mental pain, she said, she turned on the computer and played the game for hours.

“In the day, you can find someone to talk to,” Nichols said. “Games are a big help in getting through to the next morning.”

via Researchers Explore Mental Health Benefits of Video Games.

I imagine that this functions in that as the game engages the mind, the game player diverts his or her mind from the obsessive negative thoughts to more benign obsessive thoughts of playing the game.  Of course, playing games could also become an avoidance behavior or anti-social that does more harm than good.

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