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With video games against trauma

The horror video game "Nevermind" the player takes the role of a so-called Neuroprober that penetrates through a new technology in the minds of traumatized patients. What then begins is a very spectacular healing process. Also the players in front of the screen should be cured of their disease. About the Webcam, or a Smartwatch, the game will detect your Stress and anxiety level and adapts to this. The more stressed the player becomes, the greater the risks in the fictional computer world. Who wants to come, needs to learn to relax.

researchers are gradually discovering a healing potential in Videogames. New studies suggest that games can help prevent mental diseases and therapies support. Even with people in psychotic States. There are many approaches: In the award-winning "bright blade: Senua's Sacrifice" is the heroine in a psychotic permanent condition – she hears voices and has hallucinations, while you are delving into the Norse realm of the dead to face their Fears.

in 2013, appeared in addition, the Text Adventure "Depression Quest", in which a depressed Protagonist is struggling through the everyday life. In "Sym", the player lives a social phobia – sometimes it sinks in shame in the ground. In "Elude" explores a depressed Boy with a gloomy landscape. Always on the lookout for colorful birds, flowers and a little bit of hope.

games can. overwhelm

In contrast to Games such as "bright blade", the narrative with the disease, apply the developers of "Elude" and "Nevermind" their products explicitly as a therapeutic measure Erin Reynolds, the developer of "Nevermind", says: "I think that many of us unlearn at a young age to pay attention to the subtle feelings behind the Stress and anxiety." The use of Bio-Feedback would help from your perspective to put up with these feelings again.

The only Problem is: a bloody horror game can overwhelm some people. Erin Reynolds advises the mentally unstable people who would rather go to a doctor. "Nevermind" alone to address, appears on a track to dangerous.

Games is simply more Fun than traditional methods of treatment.

but The question is whether a player can assess the risks at all. Even scientists ask the question, how to use video games properly to increase without any problems. Therefore, researchers in mental illness keep mainly to classical methods from cognitive behavioral therapy, for example negative patterns of thinking, the anxious and depressed feelings cause her to break.

An advantage on the video games but in any case: they are simply more Fun than traditional methods of treatment. Scientists from Trinity College Dublin, found that young people engage in particularly hard on a classical psychotherapy. Your personal problems with you, you share hate with other people. In the case of computer games it could be different.

Supplement therapy

"video games could be a good beginning experience with therapeutic methods," says Christiane Eichenberg, Professor of psychosomatics at the Sigmund Freud private University in Vienna. Only the study situation is still poor. Too few games are evaluated. "And evaluations are expensive, so developers not need it," says Eichenberg.

games can increase according to oak mountain but also negative feelings. As an example, the Viennese Professor called the game "The End of The World", which deals with loneliness and depression. But no adequate coping strategies.

One of the first games that were developed in 2008 for therapy with children, is looking for "treasure". Veronika Brezinka, a psychologist at the Psychiatric University hospital of Zurich, has thought it up. The game is aimed at 9 to 13-year-old children with anxiety disorders, aggression or depression. You will help the Computer to a fictitious child, to decipher, along with the captain of an old sailing boat with a treasure map.

For this, players will have to solve different tasks. The children thus learn to distinguish between thoughts, feelings and behavior. Negative thoughts should be replaced by helpful. "We have evaluated the game on the basis of 200 children and 41 therapists," says Brezinka. Allegedly the Motivation for the therapy has increased significantly.

Bio-Feedback alone is not enough to change a behavior.

Brezinka recommends video games in children and adolescents is not as self-help to offer, but as a complement to psychotherapy: therapists you would need to convey content that is relevant to you. In depressed adolescents, it is also important to recognize suicidality. A game can't the field. Also Bio-Feedback alone is not enough to change a behavior. The Affected need to learn additional social skills. Otherwise, video games people could encourage, rather, withdrawing even further.

Fittingly, the game "Rage Control" of the children's hospital Boston provides a Bio-Feedback to treat aggression. The young people must fight the enemy space ships, but as soon as your pulse is too high, you the fire power. One study showed that in patients, who have played in five therapy sessions at the conclusion of 15 minutes of "Rage Control", the intensity and frequency of tantrums decreased. And significantly stronger than in the case of those who completed the sessions without a game. Generally valid statements, but not for a long time to derive.

another study found that a game that is touted as a therapy support, important for users to be worse than the same game without this note. The young people in front of the Computer felt in your self determination is restricted. Not least because researchers are considering commercial games, which have no therapeutic intention.

Improved write performance

The commercial game "Boson X", in which one jumps over rotating platforms, reduced in depressed patients, brooding, Thinking. And shooters such as "Unreal Tournament" or "Call of Duty" to strengthen, apparently, the assets, the attention to performance and the spatial notion – even the reading performance of people with dyslexia improved.

Because of such cognitive abilities to decline with schizophrenia, promise researchers of these Games, there is a Benefit in the prevention and treatment of this disease.

Stefan Borgwardt, chief doctor of the Psychiatric University clinics of Basel, and Professor of neuropsychiatry at the University of Basel, says: "For schizophrenia, the grey substances are reduced in the prefrontal and mediotemporalen area of the Brain, as well as the white, connective substances. The consequence of hallucinations and perceptual disorders, but also cognitive impairments in concentration, memory and spatial Thinking."

A third of the schizophrenia Affected have once Borgwardt in the life of a psychotic Phase, a third and the last third is a continuous,. Some people could not be treated also with medication, because it is not known whether they were seriously ill. A targeted Training of cognitive skills can help. For example, with video games. A survey of psychosomatic medicine Professor Christiane Eichenberg found that could imagine 90 percent of psychotherapists, video games. But it could be soon, anyway. Namely, when patients with other diseases.

(editing Tamedia)

Created: 15.01.2019, 07:24 PM

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