It’s a fairly original weapon to combat depression: playing 3D video games. Are you skeptical? However, this is the conclusion of a study carried out by German researchers. They recommend one, very popular, game in particular.
It’s an original and unusual way of fighting depression to say the least: German researchers recommend playing 3D video games to improve this mental pathology. The scientists go further: they put forward a particular game for this, well known to console fans.
Comparing the effects of 2D and 3D games
For this work, researchers from the department of psychiatry and psychotherapy at the University Hospital of Bonn, in Central Europe, led by Professor Silke Lux, wanted to analyze the impact of playing a video game, in 2D and in 3D, about depression.
To do this, they studied the effects of the game Super Mario Odyssey on Switch. To do this, they recruited a small cohort of 46 patients, which they divided into three groups: the first, with 14 participants, played Super Mario Odyssey, the second, with 16 volunteers, a cognitive training program called CogPacket the third, also including 16 patients, simply has their usual drug treatment. The experiment lasted six weeks.
Progress when patients played the Switch
Results: the researchers noted, thanks to an evaluation method making it possible to judge the severity of depressive symptoms, progress for players who played Super Mario Odyssey in 3D on the Switch. These same volunteers were also more enthusiastic and more motivated about following this “treatment”.
According to scientists, gaming cannot be considered as a treatment, but rather an additional well-being benefit for patients. They also recognize limitations to their work, given the small number of participants. However, this is not the first time that studies have touted the benefits of video games on the human brain. Used wisely, they can have real benefits for our health.