NPD doesn't see fit to provide us just with monthly sales figures, apparently, as they also conduct research in their secret underground bunker. There, beakers full of bright, colorful liquid of an indiscernible nature and men and women in long white coats conduct experiments. Tirelessly disassembling current hardware on the shelves and occasionally injecting caged monkeys with unknown fluids, these vigilant smart types have come to a conclusion regarding the association between stress and video games.

According to the NPD, 63% of U.S. citizens play games. 30% of these gamers say they're playing more games than they did last year. Many also cite that games are a way to alleviate stress and help them unwind. We can understand it, because there is something almost zen-like in fishing in Animal Crossing: Wild World. Actually, just about everything in that game is calming and helps us unwind, even picking weeds.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.