An interactive adventure video game has been found to successfully treat the symptoms of depression. A new study, published in the British Medical Journal, found that the game, Sparx, which stands for Smart, Positive, Active, Realistic, X-factor thoughts, had a successful effect among participants, who were all aged between 12 and 19.
The researchers write in the BMJ:
SPARX, a computerised self help intervention for adolescents with symptoms of depression, is at least as good as treatment as usual in primary healthcare settings in New Zealand and is a potentially useful treatment. It could be used as the first component in a stepped care approach to managing depression in this age group.
Quite a story, which comes with an attention-grabbing headline, so little wonder that it was picked up so widely around the world. It has been reported in more than 100 publications globally – as far and wide as the UK Daily Mail, Time in the US, and the Times of India – since the BMJ report appeared.