After reading that headline, you might be thinking “Yes! I knew it all along! PC games can make people happier!” However, this story is about how one PC game, called SPARX, has been used to successfully treat depression in teenagers.
The 3D fantasy game covers a range of topics including dealing with emotions, finding hope in life, and recognizing unproductive thoughts. These are common themes that many teenagers deal with on a daily basis. Players progress through seven levels in order to defeat the evil GNATS (Gloomy Negative Automatic Thoughts).
During the survey, half of the depressed teenagers played SPARX while the other half did not. Over approximately four to seven weeks, the teenagers who played SPARX showed a marked improvement in positive emotions and were able to reduce their symptoms of depression.
Today, nearly one out of four teenagers will experience depression before age 19, and very few of those teenagers will ever seek treatment. SPARX is providing a light of hope in a life that may seem too gloomy at times.
While the study didn’t look at the long-term impact of playing regular computer games on one’s psychological health, many people – particularly teenagers – use video games to distract themselves from the world around them. I’m not a psychologist, so I can’t say whether that is healthy behavior. However, I do know one thing: if you want to enjoy today’s latest top-of-the-line PC games, then you’re going to need a fast computer.
If you want to speed up your computer to play video games, then you may need to buy a new video card, or at the very least perform a scan with computer optimization software like a registry cleaner or disk defragmenter. These tools can push your gaming framerates up to an acceptable level, which is an easy way to make any PC gamer happy.
To read more about the study on SPARX and teenage depression, click here for the original article.