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Study Shows Games Help Reduce Stress…. Seriously

If you’re feeling stressed, forget about “calm blue ocean” mantras and squishy toys to squeeze. Instead, a new study from East Carolina University says you should fire up a casual game. And since gaming company PopCap underwrote the research, scientists recommend the beneficial effects of the company’s Bejeweled 2, Peggle and Bookworm Adventures titles. Subjects’ moods were broken out into six categories: psychological tension, anger, depression, vigor, fatigue and confusion. The study found that:

Peggle had the greatest affect, improving mood by 573% across all study subjects – with Bejeweled 2 at 435% and Bookworm Adventures at 303%.

Normally, I’d be dubious about these results, since PopCap paid for the study. But I can tell you from first-hand knowledge that Peggle in the office = fun (except for that stupid car level). We used to hold Peggle tournaments when I worked at, and that was the happiest place on Earth.
OK, I’m exaggerating a bit. But Peggle is actually a great spectator “sport” and this research reinforces the theory put forth by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher in their book “The Levity Effect: Why it Pays to Lighten Up.” You can listen to the authors talk about their findings over at

Are for those Peggle faithful, check out this 13,000,000+ (yup, that many zeros) point shot:

10 Responses to “Study Shows Games Help Reduce Stress…. Seriously”

  1. When revising for exams, I do 2hrs of study followed by 45mins of gaming. I ignore games like COD4 etc. but concentrate on simple games such as Super StarDust HD. The kind of games where you can lose your thoughts easily. After 45mins I can study again with ease.

  2. Anything that takes your mind off of the troubles in the world will reduce stress. Imagine something tragic happening, well obviously, if you play a game it will take your mind off of what is happening.