Feeds

$8.2m study to probe medical benefits of videogames

Doom to cure hoplophobia?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The alleged negative effects of videogames have been well documented. But a multi-million dollar research fund has been created to discover if they could be used as an alternative form of clinical therapy.

In the first round of funding, 12 research teams, including the Maine Medical Center and University of Southern California, have each received up to $200,000 (£100,000/€128,200) to fund one- or two-year experiments probing the therapeutic benefits of videogames.

It’s hoped the research will highlight new ways that videogame design principles could be adapted to provide some form of physical or mental benefit - aside from the stress relief often found by blasting down virtual opponents with an Uzi.

Could a Wii Fit-style game be used to treat arthritis? Or perhaps someone suffering from depression help to treat themselves with ten minutes of daily gameplay? The research aims to find out.

One of the research teams, based at Cornell University, plans to embark upon a study using a mobile phone game. Using Mindless Eating Challenge, the study is designed to examine the ways that persuasion in a videogame can be used to promote healthy eating habits in kids.

At the other end of the age scale, the University of Florida will use its funding to examine how the visual attention skills of senior citizens can be improved by regular doses of the Crazy Taxi videogame,

The University of South Carolina Research Foundation intends to pit the Nintendo’s Wii against Sony’s Eye digicam to study mobility, balance and fear of falling in post-stroke sufferers.

The funding has been provided by US healthcare centre the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The RWJF has set aside a total of $8.2m (£4.1/€5.2) to help “strengthen the evidence that videogames can be used to improve players’ health behaviours and outcomes”. Further funding will be allocated in a second stage of research. Debra Lieberman, a researcher in the Institute for Social, Behavioural, and Economic Research at the University of California, will have overall responsibility for managing the project.

A whole range of studies into the negative and positive effects of videogames have already been published. For example, earlier this month a study found that videogames can cause men to revert back to their caveman roots. Whilst a separate report concluded recently that aggressive videogame titles, such as Grand Theft Auto IV, may actually help cut the number of physical violent crimes committed.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.