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Video games to help cure phobias?

October 20, 2003 | By David Jenkins

October 20, 2003 | By David Jenkins
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A new study, published in the October issue of the journal CyberPsychology and Behavior and conducted at the Universite du Quebec is claiming that playing ordinary video games can help cure phobias.

Researchers used Half-Life and Unreal Tournament to expose arachnophobics and claustrophobics to their worst fears in digital form. Hilariously (for people suffering from triskaidekaphobia) the team tested thirteen people with phobias and thirteen without and found that virtual environments derived from games can produce the mid-range levels of anxiety that are most useful in therapy.

More details on the study can be found at, but anecdotal evidence from this arachnophobic writer at least, would suggest that the findings are utter tosh.

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