Using Duke Nukem To Diagnose Depression

from the see,-video-games-are-good-for-you dept

There have been all sorts of reports over the last few years suggesting ways in which video games may actually be good for people, but this latest one certainly may come as a surprise. Engadget points us to a story about some researchers who have determined that a modified version of the video game Duke Nukem can help diagnose and measure depression. Apparently, the researchers noticed that depression impacts the part of the brain that deals with "spatial memory," so setting up a test for spatial memory could help show the extent of depression. They took individuals who were already familiar with the game, and asked them to find certain landmarks in a virtual town within the game. Those who were depressed reached noticeably fewer landmarks in the time given than those who were not depressed. Of course, the article just gives the average scores of the two groups, rather than any details on the standard deviation, which would be pretty important here. Unfortunately, there's no word on how the decade of waiting for Duke Nukem Forever plays into the depressive state of these video gamers, but if anyone could show how it could be the cure for depression, perhaps the publishers would finally get around to releasing the champion of all vaporware.


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  1.  
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    Buzz, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 12:36pm

    ROFL!

    "Unfortunately, there's no word on how the decade of waiting for Duke Nukem Forever plays into the depressive state of these video gamers, but if anyone could show how it could be the cure for depression, perhaps the publishers would finally get around to releasing the champion of all vaporware." -- I physically LOL'd at this part. I love Techdirt humor.

     

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  2.  
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    Paul, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 12:38pm

    Autopilot?

    I wonder how the effected spatial memory correlates to driving in "auto pilot" mode. You know, when you start driving and know where you're going but you might miss a turn and start driving somewhere else out of habit then 2 street lights later realize "oh im an idiot" and get back on route.

     

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  3.  
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    Midnight Voyager, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 12:45pm

    Ehe

    I'm afraid I shattered their little mold. I'm bipolar and I have fantastic spacial memory.

    ...

    Though maybe the horsepills involved could have something to do with that.

     

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  4.  
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    GoblinJuice, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 12:51pm

    What if you're left-handed and depressed? ;-)

     

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  5.  
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    Casper, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 1:06pm

    Gamings new level...

    So if I can make my enemy depressed, I might get an advantage in World of Warcraft? Sounds good to me, although I would hate to get them so depressed they can never find their way home.

     

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  6.  
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    Luke, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 1:07pm

    Hm.

    What if you are vaporware?

     

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  7.  
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    Aramgeddon, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 1:47pm

    Depression/Bipolar

    Ehe by Midnight Voyager on Mar 13th, 2007 @ 12:45pm I'm afraid I shattered their little mold. I'm bipolar and I have fantastic spacial memory. ... Though maybe the horsepills involved could have something to do with that."

    ok but there is a difference betwen bipolar and depression, bipolar is a psycosis disorder and depression is a nerosis disorder, different part of the brain any so duke nukem wont help you sorry

     

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  8.  
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    Missing, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 2:18pm

    RE: casper

    Come on Casper, thats what Hearthstones are for!!!
    (giving up)
    Maybe I should take mine out of the SW bank!!

     

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  9.  
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    Bill, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 3:35pm

    Old Duke

    This seems pretty straight forward. If someone is depressed they're not going to have the motivation to complete sets of tasks. Simple as that. Old Duke by himself can be boring, so if the researchers want to better evaluate the subjects they need more motivation; they need multiplayer deathmatch mode. I'd find some validity to their results if the criteria was based on frag counts.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 4:39pm

    Boing

    Maybe the "non-depressed" just knew how to bunny hop, =)

    ... If that even existed in Duke Nukem.

     

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  11.  
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    dorpus, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 4:58pm

    But why would depressed people play?

    1. Only a minority of males who like to play war games, and who aren't sickened by virtual motion sickness, will agree to dukem nukem in the first place.

    2. A depressed person will not want to play video games at all.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 5:38pm

    hrm... so I should have horrendous spatial memory and no desire to play games... yet here I have great spatial memory (shitty every-other-kind-of memory though...) and play games when I have time. When I'm really depressed I play games more... hows that work?

     

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  13.  
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    Charles Griswold, Mar 13th, 2007 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Gamings new level...

    So if I can make my enemy depressed, I might get an advantage in World of Warcraft?

    We could have a new warlock spell, "Curse of Depression", that forces the target's computer to play "Fly on the Windscreen" by Depeche Mode.

     

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  14.  
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    morning monsta, Mar 14th, 2007 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Gamings new level...

    LOL!!

     

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  15.  
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    Cixelsid, Mar 14th, 2007 @ 8:46am

    Duke Nukem Forever.

    Hah! More like Duke Nukem Never.

     

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  16.  
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    CyberSchnook, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 9:05am

    Duke Nuken CAUSED my Depression

    Save me a cookie.

     

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  17.  
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    CyberSchnook, Mar 20th, 2007 @ 9:08am

    Re: Depression/Bipolar

    Oh boy--another amateur psychiatrist on the loose.

    What you don't know would fill DSM-IV.

     

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