Reality is a Game

Game thinking from Adam Clare

Tag: health

Health and Video Games

Health care is an ever-expanding industry so it makes sense that the world of games and health will intersect.

For an introduction to the complexities of health care in the developed world and how we can start seeing how games can impact it watch this keynote by Ben Swayer at the most recent Games for Health – Europe conference.

General care

When it comes to general care there have been some attempts like WiiFit that brought the idea of games connected to health to the mainstream. The connection between professional game designers and health care practitioners can better bridge the divide between for-profit and for-health care. The ideal is people play games that are fun in itself, and it just so happens that the games are about (or for) healthy living.

Wii Fit in action:

There’s also games that help people stay fit through activity:

Zombies, Run is perhaps the best example of this:

Fitocracy a gaming-inspired approached to an online community about staying fit by being active.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Here’s a good video summary from an excellent New Yorker article on how PTSD is treated using virtual environments.

Games for research

Foldit is the most popular example of a game that uses players to research solutions that computers can’t solve. This game focus on the complexity of protein folding.

Phylo is another example of a game that uses the players of the game to compute complex information. The players assemble sequences of DNA for success!

*It’s also worth noting that health games and serious games (education) have a lot in common but I feel that is covered enough elsewhere on this blog.

Tetris Can Help People Deal With Trauma

This post is copied and pasted from Things Are Good:

Playing games is tons of fun and enterprising people are finding ways to better humanity through gameplay. I just found out that Tetris can be used to help people deal with traumatic experiences – cool!

Research tells us that there is a period of up to six hours after the trauma in which it is possible to interfere with the way that these traumatic memories are formed in the mind. During this time-frame, certain tasks can compete with the same brain channels that are needed to form the memory. This is because there are limits to our abilities in each channel: for example, it is difficult to hold a conversation while doing maths problems.

The Oxford team reasoned that recognising the shapes and moving the coloured building blocks around in Tetris competes with the images of trauma in the perceptual information channel. Consequently, the images of trauma (the flashbacks) are reduced. The team believe that this is not a simple case of distracting the mind with a computer game, as answering general knowledge questions in the Pub Quiz game increased flashbacks. The researchers believe that this verbal based game competes with remembering the contextual meaning of the trauma, so the visual memories in the perceptual channel are reinforced and the flashbacks are increased.

Read more at the University of Oxford.
Hat tip to Reddit.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén

%d bloggers like this: