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Pokemon Go may help people with depression, according to a new study

A study conducted by the London School of Economics and Political Science found that Pokemon Go and other location-based mobile games could help people with depression.

Pokemon Go is unique from other games in the franchise as it encourages players to run around outside, hop from one place to another to find and catch Pokemon, or fight at different gym locations.

However, research shows that not only is it incredibly fun, but it can also help people with depression, although the researchers cautioned that the results only apply to those with non-clinical mild depression.

Pokemon go depression
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Pokemon Go could help people with depression.

That to learn was published in the Journal of Management Information Systems on April 11. It examined how location-based mobile games like Pokemon Go affect the depression levels of those who play them.

Researchers looked at how often people in 166 regions in 12 different countries searched Google for depression-related terms such as “depression,” “stress,” and “anxiety” in the first 50 weeks after the release of Pokémon Go in 2016.

The London School of Economics and Political Science claims This is a “well-established mechanism for measuring mild depression in the medical and public health literature,” and what they found surprised them.

“The results suggest a significant decrease in depression-related searches after the Pokemon Go release,” they said. “These results suggest that location-based mobile gaming may provide short-term relief from acute and mild forms of depression.

“Empirical evidence also points to the behavioral mechanisms that underpin this observed effect, specifically that Pokemon Go produces its observed effects by encouraging outdoor physical activity, face-to-face social interaction, and contact with nature.”

A poster for Pokemon Go Safari Zone
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Being active and outdoors could be the reason for this.

Ultimately, the researchers concluded that Pokemon Go and other location-based mobile games could be used to encourage healthy behaviors in people with non-clinical mild depression, which could alleviate symptoms.

Further research is required. However, it does open the door to the possibility of using Pokemon Go and other games as a tool to help easily depressed people in the future, even if it’s just a small part of their therapy process.

https://www.dexerto.com/pokemon/pokemon-go-may-help-people-with-depression-according-to-new-study-1810251/ Pokemon Go may help people with depression, according to a new study

Emma Bowman

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