[Featured image: Medication, Meditation.]
About: This is a summary post. It introduces the topic and references related games, publications, and organizations.
Games and health is an emergent area of study that brings together health researchers, medical practitioners, patients, game designers, bioethicists, and medical humanists in the interest of developing, deploying, and critiquing games and the role they can play in health and wellness.
Generally speaking there are four broad categories of health-related games: those that address therapy, training, education, and representation. Therapy and rehabilitation games can help with developing and strengthening physical and cognitive functions. Training games can help medical professionals develop skills, such as patient interaction and fine motor skills for diagnoses and surgical procedures. Educational health games address patients, students, parents, or simply the general public and seek to raise awareness and understanding of particular issues related to health. Finally, games that represent health, such as depictions of depression, daily health regimens, and medical conditions, work to show the lived side of healthcare, treatment, and well-being.
Below you will find selected publications in the areas of health and games. This isn’t an exhaustive list but a cross-section of scholarship and discourse on the subject.
Games for Health Journal
“Games for Health Journal: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications is a bimonthly peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the development, use, and applications of game technology for improving physical and mental health and well-being. The Journal breaks new ground as the first to address this emerging, widely-recognized, and increasingly adopted area of healthcare.” – Games for Health Journal
Steve Wilcox is an assistant professor in the Game Design & Development program at Wilfrid Laurier University where he researches & creates knowledge translation games. He is also the co-founder & former editor-in-chief of First Person Scholar.