A new study from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has shown that location-based games, such as the popular augmented reality game Pokemon Go can help reduce depression symptoms.
The study followed 2,500 participants, all of whom suffered from depression. The results showed that playing Pokemon GO for 30 minutes a day resulted in a significant decrease in depression.
What are Location-Based Games?
Location-based games are video games that use the physical location of the player to create a game world. This usually involves using GPS tracking to follow the player’s movements, or using data from devices like smartphones and tablets to create a map of the area around the player.
Pokemon GO is an excellent example of a location-based game. It uses GPS data to place virtual Pokemon in the real world for players to catch.
The researchers have linked participants’ improved mental health to the fact that location-based games encourage users to go out and walk. This means they got more exercise than they did before they started playing the game regularly.
“With the uncertainty we are facing every day, mental health plays a vital role in our personal and professional life. Location-based mobile games like Pokemon Go can help alleviate depression, as they facilitate face-to-face socialisation, outdoor physical activity and exposure to nature, all of which are essential to mental health.”Dr Aaron Cheng from the Department of Management at LSE
The depression busting power of Pokemon Go –
Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. This helps you sleep better, which in turn helps improve your mood.
Playing Pokemon Go also gives you a sense of accomplishment and boosts your self-esteem, providing an escape from depression and negative thoughts.
Walking in nature can also help reduce rumination, a type of repetitive thought that is associated with depression.
Playing Pokemon GO can be a fun and social activity that helps you connect with other people. Making new friends and reconnecting with old friends will help you build a support network. This is vital when battling depression.
The bottom line: Exercise is a great way to improve your mental health, and location-based games like Pokemon GO make it easy
If you suffer from depression, I encourage you to give Pokemon GO a try. You are likely to have a blast catching virtual creatures with your friends!
For Further Reading
The following posts will be useful if you or someone you love is struggling with Depression.
- Freezing out depression – the psychological benefits of a cold shower
- Bright Light Therapy – a promising cure for depression
- Smiling Depression: what you need to know about this serious condition
- New Study shows how Pokemon GO could help improve Depression
- Anxiety vs. Depression: How to Tell the Difference and Get Help
- Is Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation effective in reducing depression symptoms?
- Depression Room Cleaning: The New Trend on TikTok that boosts our Mental Health
- Seasonal Depression: What Is It, Symptoms, and What To Do About It
- Dance and movement therapy holds promise for treating anxiety and depression
- The Devastating Impact of Smoking on Your Mental Health
- Vitamin D Supplements Shown to Alleviate Depression in Adults
- The use of genetic testing to help patients with acute depression
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