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The study included 168 teens with an average age of 15 that had previously sought help or struggled with depression. Half of the group was randomly assigned to "treatment as usual,” which was usually one-on-one counseling over five sessions. The other half played SPARX, a fantasy game where the subjects created avatars in order to squash “gloomy negative automatic thoughts,” and restore order in the virtual world. Each level taught players basic facts about depression, strategies for dealing with intense negative emotions and relaxation techniques.