Smartphone Games May Improve Mental Health : Countless studies on cell phone addiction have shed light on the effects of long-term screen time. Sleep deprivation and symptoms of depression are common signs of prolonged phone use, but what if we studied the positive effects? Smartphone games may be one of the most cost-efficient ways to improve mental health.
Jacek Michałski is an expert on the gambling aspect of gaming and is familiar with mobile games such as CrazyFox Casino. Here he’ll explain the correlation between mental health and mobile apps – and how it can be used to your advantage.
Gamifying Mental Health
The addictive nature of phones and social media can be attributed to the tiny burst of dopamine every time you receive notifications and scroll your feed. While many companies design apps to be difficult to resist, others aim to use gamification to treat mental health.
What Is Gamification?
Gamification is the process of adding game elements in non-game contexts. It’s the extrinsic motivation that helps individuals complete the necessary tasks. The characteristics may include:
- Points (experience, levelling up, skills, etc.)
- Avatars or character creation
Applied Gamified Intervention
A 2019 research published in PLOS ONE shows that turning intervention into a mobile game increased resilience against depression, stress, and anxiety. In the study, 358 participants completed a 5-week trial using eQuoo, an educational app aimed to increase emotional fitness.
The scales from day 1, 17, and 35 were compared and showed a significant boost in mental strength, personal growth, and positive relations with others. More studies being conducted and may prove that smartphone games can be vital to promote mental health.
Cognitive Skill Development
In psychology, video games are recognized for their ability to improve cognitive abilities. Many studies have shown that long-term use of commercial and puzzle games has a positive impact on processing and reaction times, memory, multitasking, and more.
The same applies to mobile games. As opposed to being bombarded with excess bad news and information, brain-training health games focus on improving your cognitive abilities. Sharpening your mental skill will make it easier to pay attention, solve problems, and help prevent the signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia in your later years.
Mobile Games For Executive Dysfunction
Games based on mental illness do more than focus on improving your cognitive and emotional abilities. It also helps treat the symptoms and increases the quality of life for children and adults that struggle with everyday activities. Conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD affect some or all of the seven executive functions:
- Emotional regulation
- Non-verbal working memory
- Planning, organizing, and problem-solving
- Verbal memory
These important skills are needed to complete tasks throughout the day. Along with improving executive function, it can also keep you on track in spite of it. Smartphone games can also be designed to help you boost productivity and help manage your executive dysfunction.
One popular app that uses gamification for productivity is Habitica. It’s a free habit-building roleplay game that rewards you in-game for completing real-life tasks. If you struggle with starting and maintaining a healthy routine due to mental illness, gamified productivity apps can help keep you on track.
While social media and excess phone use can lead to negative mental side effects, apps that improve mental health and personal growth can be beneficial. Individuals can use smartphone games to build resilience, promote healthy habits, and level up in real life.
If you’re interested in cost-efficient treatment, many games on the market will be a great addition to your mental health journey. Gamifying your life is only a few taps away.
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