Casual gaming helps users chill out

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Casual gaming helps users chill out

Some types of games better when it comes to relaxing.

Playing computer or video games is not traditionally seen as a way of aiding relaxation, but research has claimed that casual gaming can reduce stress.

PopCap Games' August 2006 survey of players found that specific types of games contribute to efforts to relax.

Games that are more likely to increase adrenaline levels due to their frenetic, competitive nature and intense imagery are not much good for chilling out.

But 'casual' games such as family friendly word, puzzle, trivia and simple action games can help reduce stress.

The survey found that 88 percent of casual game players derive stress relief from playing such games.

"Casual word and puzzle games can help people develop new cellular brain connections thereby helping to keep the brain active and vital," said Carl Arinoldo, a New York-based psychologist and author who specialises in stress management.

"And by seriously attending to the word and puzzle games, people can control stress by cognitively 'blocking out' the negative stresses of the day."

PopCap said that casual games are further distinguished from traditional video games by the relaxed, stress-free mental state in which they often place the player.

"Empirical research has consistently shown that in the right context, computer and video games can have a positive educational, psychological and therapeutic benefit," said Mark Griffiths, head of the Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University.
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