Plenty of gamers have known for years now that enjoying a bit of gaming might help in getting you out of a funk, and now we have the results of a study confirming that feeling.

A paper on a German study title, “Effects of a video game intervention on symptoms, training motivation, and visuo-spatial memory in depression” has just released, and it indeed shows a link between gaming and reduced effects of depression symptoms. The study involved a six-week video game intervention to see if playing games helped with depressed mood, training motivation, and visuo-spatial memory functions in individuals with major depressive disorder, and the results were promising.

The participants in this study played Super Mario Odyssey, and it was found that the players saw a more significant reduction in depression symptoms compared to participants who used a cognitive training computer program (“CogPack”) or underwent standard treatments for these symptoms. Along with that, those who played Super Mario Odyssey also saw higher levels of training motivation.

To get down to specifics, the study showed that participants with high levels of depressive symptoms saw the biggest decrease by playing Super Mario Odyssey, with depression levels dropping by nearly half when compared to the two other groups. That is some seriously impressive data from this study, and only goes to show that this intersection of gaming and science needs to be studied more.

Add Comment

Comments (1)


6M ago

I'm playing games for as long as I remember and good ones helped me through some tough times. Mediocre or bad ones however have the adverse effect and made feel like garbage even more... I always have one or two 'feel good' games to fall back to in such cases.