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A multidisciplinary journal on gaming and gamification including simulation and immersive virtual reality for health education/promotion, teaching and social change.
JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279) is a sister journal of the Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), one of the most cited journals in health informatics (Impact Factor 2016: 5.175). JSG has a projected inofficial impact factor (2016) of 3.32 and will have an official impact factor 2017 (to be released by Clarivate Analytics mid-2018). JSG is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to computer/web/mobile/augmented and virtual reality applications that incorporate elements of gaming to solve serious problems such as health education/promotion, teaching and education, or social change.
The journal also considers commentary and research in the fields of video games violence and video games addiction.
JMIR Serious Games is indexed in Pubmed, PubMed Central, and in Clarivate/Thomson Reuters Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE).
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Background: Mobile phone and tablet apps are an increasingly common platform to collect data. A key challenge for researchers has been participant “buy-in” and participant attrition for designs re...
Background: Mobile phone and tablet apps are an increasingly common platform to collect data. A key challenge for researchers has been participant “buy-in” and participant attrition for designs requiring repeated testing. Objective: The objective of this study was to develop and asses the utility of 1 – 2 minute versions of both classic and novel cognitive tasks within a user focussed and driven mobile phone and tablet app designed to encourage repeated play. Methods: A large sample (N = 13,979 at first data collection) participated in multiple, self-paced, sessions of working memory (N-back), spatial cognition (Mental rotation), sustained attentional focus (Persistent Vigilance task), and split attention (Multiple object tracking) tasks along with an implementation of a novel action learning task. A full morningness-eveningness questionnaire was also included. Data was collected across an 18 month period. While the app prompted reengagement at set intervals, each participant was free to repeatedly complete each task as many times as they wished. Results: We found a significant relationship between morningness and age (r = 0.298, n = 12755, p < 0.001), though no effect of gender (t (13539) = -1.036, p = 0.30). We report good task adherence, with ~4000 participants repeatedly playing each game more than four times each - our minimum engagement level for analysis. The repeated plays of these games allow us to replicate commonly reported gender effects in the gamified spatial cognition (F (1, 4216) = 154.861, p<0.001, η_ρ^2 = 0.035), split attention (F (1, 4185) = 11.047, p=0.001, η_ρ^2 = 0.003), sustained attentional focus (F (1, 4238) = 15.993, p<0.001, η_ρ^2 = 0.004). We also found strong negative correlations between self-reported age and performance in the sustained attentional focus (N=1596, F (6, 1595) = 30.23, p<0.001, η2 = 0.102), working memory (N = 1627, F (6, 1626) = 19.78, p<0.001,η2 = 0.068), spatial cognition (N = 1640, F (6, 1639) = 23.74, p<0.001,η2 = 0.080)), and split attention (N = 1616, F(6,1615) = 2.48, p= 0.022, η2 = 0.009) tasks. Conclusions: Using extremely short testing periods and permitting participants to decide their own level of engagement - both in terms of which gamified task they played, and how many sessions they completed - we were able to collect a substantial and valid dataset. We suggest that the success of OU brainwave should inform future research oriented apps - particularly in issues around balancing participant engagement with data fidelity.
Background: Sørensen trunk extension endurance test performance predicts the development of low back pain (LBP) and is a strong discriminator of those with and without low back pain (LBP). Performanc...
Background: Sørensen trunk extension endurance test performance predicts the development of low back pain (LBP) and is a strong discriminator of those with and without low back pain (LBP). Performance may depend greatly upon psychological factors, such as kinesiophobia, self-efficacy, and motivation. Virtual reality video games have been used in the LBP population to encourage physical activity that would otherwise be avoided out of fear of pain or harm. Accordingly, we developed a virtual reality video game to assess the influence of immersive gaming on Sørensen test performance. Objective: To determine the physiological and psychological predictors of time to task failure (TTF) on a virtual reality Sørensen test in participants with and without a history of recurrent LBP. Methods: We recruited 24 individuals with a history of recurrent LBP and 24 sex, age, and BMI matched individuals without a history of any LBP. Participants completed a series of psychological measures, including the Center for Epidemiological Studies – Depression (CES-D), Pain Resilience Scale (PRS), Pain Catastrophizing Scale (PCS), Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK), and a self-efficacy measure. Maximal isometric strength of the trunk extensors and hip extensors and TTF on a virtual reality Sørensen test was measured. EMG of the Erector Spinae (ERS), Gluteus Maximus (GM), and Biceps Femoris (BF) was recorded during the strength and endurance trials. Results: A two-way ANOVA revealed no significant difference in TTF between groups (P = 0.99), but there was a trend for longer TTF in females on the virtual reality Sørensen test (P = 0.06). Linear regression analyses were performed to determine predictors of TTF for each group. In healthy participants, normalized median power frequency slope of the ERS (β = .450, P = 0.01), and the BF (β = .400, P= 0.01), and trunk mass (β = .330, P = 0.02) predicted TTF. In participants with recurrent LBP, trunk mass (β = -.67, P < 0.01), TSK (β = -.43, P = 0.01) and self-efficacy (β = .35, P = 0.03) predicted TTF. Conclusions: Trunk mass appears to be a consistent predictor of performance. Kinesiophobia appears to negatively influence TTF for those with a history of recurrent LBP, but does not influence healthy individuals. Self-efficacy is associated with better performance in individuals with a history of recurrent LBP, while a less steep median power frequency slope of the trunk and hip extensors is associated with better performance in individuals without a history of LBP.
Background: An estimated 50% of adolescents and young adults (AYA) living with HIV are failing to adhere to prescribed antiretroviral treatment (ART). Digital games are effective in chronic disease ma...
Background: An estimated 50% of adolescents and young adults (AYA) living with HIV are failing to adhere to prescribed antiretroviral treatment (ART). Digital games are effective in chronic disease management; however, research on gaming to improve ART adherence among AYA is limited. Objective: We assessed the feasibility and acceptability of videogaming to improve AYA ART adherence. Methods: Focus group discussions (FGDs) and surveys were administered to healthcare providers and AYA aged 13-24 years living with HIV at a pediatric HIV program in Washington, DC. During FGDs, AYA viewed demonstrations of three game prototypes linked to portable Wisepill medication dispensers. Content analysis strategies and thematic coding were used to identify adherence themes and gaming acceptance and feasibility. Likert scale and descriptive statistics were used to summarize response frequencies. Results: Providers (n=10) identified common adherence barriers and strategies, including use of gaming analogies to improve AYA ART adherence. Providers supported exploration of digital gaming as an adherence intervention. Six FGDs with 12 AYA identified disclosure of HIV status and irregular daily schedules as major barriers to ART and use of alarms and pillboxes as reminders. Most AYA were "very or somewhat likely" to use the demonstrated game prototypes to help with ART adherence and desired challenging, individually-tailored, user-friendly games with in-game incentives. Game prototypes were modified accordingly. Conclusions: AYA and their providers supported the use of digital games for ART adherence support. Individualization and in-game incentives were preferable and informed the design of an interactive technology-based adherence intervention among AYA living with HIV.