Media and games helped many of us maintain our mental health during the last couple of years of dread, but it isn’t just pure escapism: studies suggest games, in particular, provide unique therapeutic benefits. DeepWell is a new startup from games and medical industry veterans that aims to study and formalize these effects, so in addition to medication and therapy, you might be prescribed a nightly Stardew Valley session.
For some, the notion of using games as therapeutic techniques may seem slightly outlandish. Can fighting monsters and poring over character stats really affect your mental health? But for others, myself included, it’s obvious — after all, many of us quite consciously turned to games as ways to keep ourselves grounded when all that awaited us out of doors was disease and dread. An hour or two of minding the farm, blasting hellspawn, or questing with friends was an important part of our self-care routine.
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