Bejeweled – The New Antidepressant?


By Jason Kelley
February 28, 2011

Consumer Insights

East Carolina University’s Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic revealed the results of a year-long randomized, controlled clinical study that measured the efficacy of “casual” video games in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. The study was underwritten by PopGames, and focused on family-friendly, non-violent puzzle games which – surprise – are all made by PopCap Games.

The study was comprised of almost 60 clinically depressed patients playing Bejeweled 2, Peggle, and Bookworm Adventures, and 57% of the experimental group (50% of all the patients served as the control group) found an average reduction in their depression symptoms that lasted anywhere from half an hour to a full month.

“In my opinion the findings support the possibility of using prescribed casual video games for treating depression and anxiety as an adjunct to, or perhaps even a replacement for, standard therapies including medication…”, stated Dr. Carmen Russoniello, Director of the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at ECU and the professor who oversaw the study.

And I thought endless hours of Bejeweled was just a great way to put off doing laundry…