Games in Healthcare

Video Games Have the Power to Shape Eating Choices

Pepsi Invaders was an Early AdvergameA recent study published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, demonstrates the influence video games can have on children’s eating habits. Researchers Sandra Calvert and Tiffany Pempek from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. recruited 30 children between the ages of 9 and 10 from low-income African-American families to participate in the study.

The researchers targeted this demographic for its high risk of obesity and related health problems and aimed to establish a link between food-product placement in games and kids' snack choices.

The participants played SnackTime, a Pac-Man-inspired game in which they earn points for gobbling down objects. The kids were separated into three groups. The first two groups played a different version of the game. One featured healthy items like bananas and juice, while the second showed objects like pop, candy and chips. Read More...

Video Game to Help Correct Lazy Eye Disorder

A Child that Suffers from Lazy EyeDr. Uri Polat, an eye and brain specialist at Tel Aviv University’s Goldschleger Eye Research Institute has partnered with researchers at the Brain and Vision Lab at the University of Rochester in New York to develop a video game treatment to correct lazy eye disorders in children and adults.

Amblyopia, commonly known as lazy eye, is traditionally corrected by wearing an eye patch. This method has a limited success rate even after hundreds of hours of treatment and it only seems to work in children under the age of nine. For this reason, most health specialists have not pursued treatment for children after that age and even less so with with adults, until now. Read More...

Military Brain Injury Treatment Centers Armed with Games

A Soldier Using a Driving SimulatorThe US Department of Defense has been using new technology in its work with returning troops to better identify and treat brain injuries. Treatment centers have been increasing their efforts, thanks in part to the use of video games, so that veterans and returning troops get the assistance they need.

Opened in September 2008, the Fort Campbell, KY brain injury center has already screened about 400 soldiers for traumatic brain injuries and is currently treating about 60 cases. There, soldiers go through a battery of tests to evaluate different cognitive abilities. Read More...

Health News: Games to Fight Epidemics and New DS Health Timer

The Health Control Game TimerA couple of interesting headlines regarding health gaming have caught our attention recently at Game Forward. With all the news surrounding the H1N1 virus, otherwise known as Swine Flu, an online flash game has been re-released under the evocative name Stop Swine Flu.

The premise of the game, however, is quite the opposite. Its goal is actually to infect as many people as you can by sneezing on them and having them in turn spread the virus. The game does present information on germs and the spread of airborne illnesses. Initially released as Sneeze, the game was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust. Read More...