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Bejeweled Twist: Latest in Video Game Series to Reduce Stress in... Women?

Bejeweled Twist: Latest in Video Game Series to Reduce Stress in... Women?

(NewsUSA): The stereotypical avid video gamer is often viewed as being a male in his teenage or college years. But according to recent studies, this may be far from the truth.
The Bejeweled series from PopCap Games has reported an overwhelming 350 million downloads of what is considered to be one of the most popular puzzle games of the 21st century. According to PopCap Games, the dazzling casual game's customer base is 76 percent female -; a nearly polar opposite of the prevailing beliefs. Now, after four long years of development, this audience can look forward to the newest addition to the series -; "Bejeweled Twist."
In a video game market dominated by products specifically geared toward the male gender, PopCap has taken steps to study and test various games with the female audience. From hockey moms to Hollywood jetsetters, they have made an effort to create a game suitable for everyone under the sun.
Why are more women turning to video games? Studies have shown that playing can actually be good for you. The results of a recent study from East Carolina University's Psychophysiology Lab found that playing Bejeweled 2 significantly reduces stress and enhances mood. Bejeweled 2 was found to reduce physical stress by an average of 54 percent across all test subjects.
For fans of the Bejeweled series, PopCap has released Bejeweled Twist, which features a new take on match-3 gameplay. Instead of swapping adjacent jewels to make a set, players rotate an entire two-by-two block of gems clockwise, while still aiming to create a line of three or more of the same type. Unlike Bejeweled, players don't have to make a match with every move -; instead, they can freely spin gems anywhere on the board, allowing far greater liberty of movement and vastly increased strategic freedom to plan combinations and chains.
There are four game modes, so there's literally something for every state of mind: a challenging game when you want to use strategy, a fast-paced blitz when you want beat-the-clock action, and even a Zen mode for a more relaxing experience when you're simply looking for a quick stress-busting break. The Zen mode does not keep time or score and allows players to zone out for a stress-free mindset.
So, for the guys out there looking for a gift for their mother, sister, daughter or girlfriend, don't count video games out.
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