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Friday, May 02, 2008

Ah, Stress Relief!

A Paint Shop Pro creation featuring two of my favorite games. (yeah, I did that PSP in a hurry and you can tell although I might just get around to fixing that)

Above, a Sims 2 family guy, playing Big Kahuna Reef 2 - Chain Reaction on his free gaming computer. (Sims 2 Free Time features new hobbies that Sims can have, including gaming! ...a sort of "infinite picture", game creations playing a game)

Recent days without much internet access, various stressy issues and an ailing family member have me turning to my very useful and portable laptop for communication aid (nextalk.net deaf relay), ways of keeping myself from going nuts or being utterly bored in quiet moments, and if I have a space of time with no interruptions, some momentary stress relief in the form of DVD movies or casual games. Beats TV to death, as I have never been one to just turn it on and veg.

Tonight, I learned of a study documenting that computer games give stress relief ...and it even comes with a slide show. Check out the title, I love it! "Study: Casual Video Games Demonstrate Ability to Relieve Stress, Improve Mood: Potential Clinical Significance Highlighted. First-of-Its-Kind 6-month Research Project Establishes Effects of Puzzle and Word Games on the Human Body and Mind" :)
Methodology

The study was conducted between October 2007 and April 2008 and included a total of 134 subjects. Thirty-one subjects served as members of the control group, tasked with surfing the Internet looking for journal articles. The experimental groups consisted of 31 subjects who played Bejeweled 2, 29 subjects who played Bookworm Adventures, and 36 subjects who played Peggle. The study included the collection of physical data (based on Heart Rate Variability (HRV) measurements) and psychological data (based on POMS (a profile of mood states pre- and post-activity) and electroencephalography (EEG) measurements) during a 5-minute baseline period and 15 minutes of game playing or (in the case of the control group) Internet surfing.
I haven't played the three games featured in the study but anyone that is curious can get them as free downloads from any number of places including the creators site, Pop Cap games. Once you have them, you can play them offline. The trials are usually for an hour but if you like to play longer, offline and not buy the game, you can try the Wild Coins method of game trialing and playing. The way it seems to work is that Wild Games gives you any game you want as a freebie game which you can play for up to a 24 hour period with periodic 20 minute breaks. If your break gets too long, then if you want to resume the game, you will need to insert virtual coins, called Wild Coins. Depending on the complexity of the game, the number of coins varies and can be four to six coins for the fancier games. The coins can be bought in different plans or even acquired by purchasing other goods from magazines to coffee and fashions and other things. Some games are completely free however, and I get a kick out of Crickler which you must be online to play.

I didn't know anything about Wild Coins until I got my "new to me" refurb Gateway notebook which included a download for games, "Gateway Games". My nephew clicked on it (after asking of course) and I was so impressed with the graphics in the game of Fate he was playing and how quickly he learned the game, I had to learn about the game system that Fate was offered on. It's cute. The little guy battles bad guys and has a little dog that reminds me of a small spotted Terrier. I haven't played it yet but it might be the first game of its genre that I try.... eventually.

Had to stick this Sims 2 video on. I wish I could hear Natasha Bedingfield sing in "Simlish" but the video is beautiful (a nicer high res version is on youtube and you have to select it on the rating meter that has the stars).

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Semavi Lady woofed at @ 5/02/2008 09:39:00 PM | Permanent link | (1) Comments

Anonymous Anonymous sent us a woof // May 03, 2008

That was fun! And the music in SIMlish was cute.

Mark   

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