A study in New Zealand shows that a video game, called “SPARX,”, can be used to treat depression. So far, forty-four percent of those who played saw results from their depression. Computer therapy will be the next conventional therapy that will help young adults with anxiety disorders. Research shows that “SPARX” has the potential to provide effective and acceptable health care for mental disorders with more access to young adults. The fact that it is a video game, will encourage young adults whom may be more reluctant to use conventional therapy to seek mental help.
Video Games is considered huge entertainment mongrel that has difficulty staying innovative and fresh. Video game companies and developers are faced with a multitude of difficulties that hurt it’s ability to provide quality games (i.e. pre and used games, price cuts, delays, falling short of expected fiscal earrings, buy-outs/acquisitions, and scandals). It’s only natural that the industry has turned into another cut-throat high-end industry. Even with the use of bigger and better graphics that mimic Steven Spielberg movies, we still see games that lack depth. We see a constant influx of games with appealing factors like big explosions, better graphics, and bigger boobs lacking captivating stories or dynamic gameplay. Games that have created captivating environments and unique game play, like Skyrim and Fez, often get critiqued for stepping outside of the appeal. From the breath-taking experience of when the world first laid its hands on Super Mario 64 for the N64 or Virtual Fighter for the Dreamcast, we have yet to see pivotal ground-breaking changes in the industry.
So, it is with much excitement to see video games take a path less trampled upon in the way of science and mental health. It is like that anime Accel World where everyone lives in a world with a tech collar and your eyes are the computer screens. Although we are far from that future, I can see an era spiked with learning and knowledge in the use of video games. Mankind will be able to learn with much more feasibility, rewards, and access to knowledge than ever before. Research is already being conducted to apply psychology into video games. Can you imagine being able to learn proper diet just by playing a game? How about fixing your car? Doing your taxes? Balancing your checkbook? The possibilities of what can happen are not limited but rather endless! Once you steer it away from being just mere entertainment, you open Pandora’s box to possibilities only imagined in science fiction.