Much has been speculated over the years about the various ways video games could be negatively impacting the brains and behaviors of youth, but new research suggests the complete opposite.

A paper published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior claims video games could give players the shift in perception they need to combat mental health issues like depression.

Researchers introduced 160 students with mild depression to six “brain training” video games, each based on neurophysiological tasks that have been shown to enhance cognitive control among those experiencing depression.

The games used linguistic hints to “implant” messages to the player about how their depression could be perceived – either as an internal biological phenomenon or something external based on life experiences.  

[DisplayAd]

The brain-training exercises that depicted depression as internal made the players feel that they had more control over their depression and could do something to control it, the researchers surmised.

While the small-scale study was rather limited in its scope and demands further research, it echoes the results of other recent studies that have linked video games with the potential for mental health benefits and cognitive ability in old age.

Assuming they’ll need more research participants to sit around playing video games for hours on end, sign us up.

h/t IFLScience