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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: While traditional forms of therapy for anxiety-related disorders (e.g.: cognitive-behavioural therapy) have been effective, there have been longstanding issues with these therapies that la...
Background: While traditional forms of therapy for anxiety-related disorders (e.g.: cognitive-behavioural therapy) have been effective, there have been longstanding issues with these therapies that largely centre around the costs and risks associated with the components comprising the therapeutic process. To treat certain types of specific phobias, sessions may need to be held in public, therefore risking patient confidentiality and the occurrence of uncontrollable circumstances (e.g.: weather, bystander behaviour), or additional expenses such as travel to reach a destination. To address these issues, past studies have implemented virtual reality (VR) technologies for VR exposure therapy (VRET) to provide an immersive, interactive experience that can be conducted privately. Although the outcomes from these studies have been generally positive despite the limitations of legacy VR systems, it is necessary to review these studies to identify how modern VR systems should improve to provide the best care possible. Objective: The aim of this review was to establish the efficacy of virtual reality-based treatment for anxiety-related disorders, as well as to outline how modern VR systems need to address the shortcomings of legacy VR systems. Methods: A systematic search was conducted for any VR-related, peer-reviewed articles focused on the treatment or assessment of anxiety-based disorders published prior to 31-August-2017 within the ProQuest Central, PsycINFO, and PsycARTICLES databases. References from these articles were also evaluated. Results: A total of 49 studies met the inclusion criteria from an initial pool of 2,419 studies. These studies were a mix of case studies focused solely on VRET, experimental studies comparing the efficacy of VRET to various forms of CBT (e.g.: in-vivo exposure, imaginal exposure, and exposure group therapy), and studies evaluating the usefulness of VR technology as a diagnostic tool for paranoid ideations. The majority of studies reported positive findings in favour of VRET despite the VR technology’s limitations. Conclusions: Although past studies have demonstrated promising and emerging efficacy for the use of VR as a treatment and diagnostic tool for anxiety-related disorders, it is clear that VR technology as a whole needs to improve in order to provide a completely immersive and interactive experience that is capable of blurring the lines between the real and virtual world.
Background: Entities that have become known as ‘predatory’ journals and publishers are permeating the world of scholarly publishing, yet little is known about the papers they publish Objective: T...
Background: Entities that have become known as ‘predatory’ journals and publishers are permeating the world of scholarly publishing, yet little is known about the papers they publish Objective: This work looks at journals that fail to meet the expected best practice publishing standards. These journals, often called ‘predatory’, are thought to prioritize profits earned from publishing articles over the quality of the articles they publish. In this study we examined nearly 200 journals thought to be predatory Methods: We examined a cross-section of 1907 human and animal biomedical studies, recording their study designs, epidemiological and reporting characteristics. In our sample more than two million humans and over eight thousand animals were included in predatory publications Results: Only 40% of studies report having ethics approval. Of the 17% of articles reporting their funding source, the US National Institutes of Health was most frequently named. Corresponding authors were most often from India (511/1907, 26.8%) and the US (288/1907, 15.1%). The reporting quality of work reported in our sample was poor and worse than contemporaneous samples from the legitimate literature. Many studies were missing key methodological details and findings. Conclusions: Our results raise important ethical concerns since research in predatory journals is difficult to identify and not indexed in scientifically curated biomedical databases. Funders and academic institutions need to develop explicit policies to drive grantees and prospective authors away from these entities.
Background: Individuals with heightened anxiety vulnerability tend to preferentially attend to emotionally negative information, with evidence suggesting this attentional bias makes a causal contribut...
Background: Individuals with heightened anxiety vulnerability tend to preferentially attend to emotionally negative information, with evidence suggesting this attentional bias makes a causal contribution to anxiety vulnerability. Recent years have seen an increase in the use of attentional bias modification (ABM) procedures to modify patterns of attentional bias, however often this change in bias is not successfully achieved. Objective: The current study presents a novel ABM procedure, Emotion-in-Motion, requiring individuals to engage in patterns of attentional scanning and tracking within a gamified complex and dynamic environment. We aimed to examine the capacity of this novel procedure, as compared to the traditional prWe administered either an attend-positive or attend-negative version of our novel ABM task or the conventional probe-based ABM task to undergraduate students (N=110). Subsequently, participants underwent an anagram stressor task, with state anxiety assessed prior to and following this stressor.obe-based ABM procedure, to produce a change in attentional bias and result in a change in anxiety vulnerability. Methods: We administered either an attend-positive or attend-negative version of our novel ABM task or the conventional probe-based ABM task to undergraduate students (N=110). Subsequently, participants underwent an anagram stressor task, with state anxiety assessed prior to and following this stressor. Results: Whereas the conventional ABM task failed to induce differential patterns of attentional bias or affect anxiety vulnerability, the Emotion-in-Motion training did induce a group difference in attentional bias (P = .003, Cohen’s d = 0.87), and differentially affected anxiety vulnerability (P = .032, Cohen’s d = 0.60). Conclusions: Our novel, gamified Emotion-in-Motion ABM task appears more effective in modifying patterns of attentional bias and anxiety vulnerability. Candidate mechanisms contributing to these findings are discussed, including the increased stimulus complexity, dynamic nature of the stimulus presentation, and enriched performance feedback.
Background: e-Bug, led by Public Health England, educates young people about important topics; microbes, infection prevention and antibiotics. Body Busters and Stop the Spread are two new e-Bug educat...
Background: e-Bug, led by Public Health England, educates young people about important topics; microbes, infection prevention and antibiotics. Body Busters and Stop the Spread are two new e-Bug educational games. Objective: To determine student baseline knowledge, views on the games and knowledge improvement. Methods: Students in five UK educational provisions were observed playing two e-Bug games. Before and after knowledge and evaluation questionnaires and student focus groups were completed. Results: 123 junior and 350 senior students completed questionnaires. Vaccination baseline knowledge was high. Knowledge increased significantly around antibiotic use, appropriate sneezing behaviours, and vaccinations. 26 student focus groups were conducted. Body Busters was “engaging” and “enjoyable”; whereas Stop the Spread was “fast paced” and “challenging” but increased vaccination and health behaviour intentions. Conclusions: e-Bug games are an effective learning tool for students to increase knowledge around microbes, infection prevention and antibiotics. Game suggested improvements should help increase enjoyment.
Recently, prominent technological entities have explored whether gamified simulation, which is the integration of game mechanics into a virtually-induced simulation, can be a plausible solution to the...
Recently, prominent technological entities have explored whether gamified simulation, which is the integration of game mechanics into a virtually-induced simulation, can be a plausible solution to the dilemma of “not enough experience” in psychomotor-dependent training for surgical residents. Existing Virtual-Reality Simulators, among others, are venturing into the arena via combining the dexterity of robotic surgery technologies and the sophisticated animated 3D Graphics environment. Emerging technologies that incorporate surgeon educators as active agents in developing these solutions will prove to be a much more usable and accepted an alternative to the traditional approach of passive observation to surgical procedures. Gamified training can be considered as a low-cost option once the dexterity training and cognitive load needed for analyzing surgical procedures are in optimal coherence. This could lead to an enhanced evidence-based care with measurable performance agents of quality surgical training and residents’ competency in future research.
Virtual Reality (VR) therapy has been explored as a therapeutic approach in a number of medical applications, where three dimensional virtual environments can be explored in real time. Some significan...
Virtual Reality (VR) therapy has been explored as a therapeutic approach in a number of medical applications, where three dimensional virtual environments can be explored in real time. Some significant successes have been claimed. A number of studies have asserted positive outcome for patients using VR for clinical conditions such as anxiety disorders, addictions, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, stroke rehabilitation, and pain management. Nevertheless, the implementation of clinical VR research outside of the laboratory presents many clinical challenges. This paper explores some of the key issues in implementing clinical VR research including theoretical ambiguity and immaturity, a lack of technical standards, problems of media vs. medium, practical in-vivo issues and costs. It is argued that careful attention to addressing these issues in research design and pilot studies are needed, in order to make clinical VR research more rigorous and meaningful.