JMIR Publications


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JMIR Serious Games

A multidisciplinary journal on gaming and gamification for health education/promotion, teaching and social change.

Journal Citation Reports Clarivate Analytics Journal Impact Factor 2017
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Journal Description

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 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).

 

Recent Articles:

  • Source: The Authors / Placeit.net; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://games.jmir.org/2018/1/e2/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    User-Centered Design of Learn to Quit, a Smoking Cessation Smartphone App for People With Serious Mental Illness

    Abstract:

    Background: Smoking rates in the United States have been reduced in the past decades to 15% of the general population. However, up to 88% of people with psychiatric symptoms still smoke, leading to high rates of disease and mortality. Therefore, there is a great need to develop smoking cessation interventions that have adequate levels of usability and can reach this population. Objective: The objective of this study was to report the rationale, ideation, design, user research, and final specifications of a novel smoking cessation app for people with serious mental illness (SMI) that will be tested in a feasibility trial. Methods: We used a variety of user-centered design methods and materials to develop the tailored smoking cessation app. This included expert panel guidance, a set of design principles and theory-based smoking cessation content, development of personas and paper prototyping, usability testing of the app prototype, establishment of app’s core vision and design specification, and collaboration with a software development company. Results: We developed Learn to Quit, a smoking cessation app designed and tailored to individuals with SMI that incorporates the following: (1) evidence-based smoking cessation content from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and US Clinical Practice Guidelines for smoking cessation aimed at providing skills for quitting while addressing mental health symptoms, (2) a set of behavioral principles to increase retention and comprehension of smoking cessation content, (3) a gamification component to encourage and sustain app engagement during a 14-day period, (4) an app structure and layout designed to minimize usability errors in people with SMI, and (5) a set of stories and visuals that communicate smoking cessation concepts and skills in simple terms. Conclusions: Despite its increasing importance, the design and development of mHealth technology is typically underreported, hampering scientific innovation. This report describes the systematic development of the first smoking cessation app tailored to people with SMI, a population with very high rates of nicotine addiction, and offers new design strategies to engage this population. mHealth developers in smoking cessation and related fields could benefit from a design strategy that capitalizes on the role visual engagement, storytelling, and the systematic application of behavior analytic principles to deliver evidence-based content.

  • Boy excited over finding a Pokémon. Source: The Authors/ Placeit.net; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://games.jmir.org/2017/4/e24/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    The Praise and Price of Pokémon GO: A Qualitative Study of Children’s and Parents’ Experiences

    Abstract:

    Background: Physical activity has multiple health benefits; however, the majority of children around the world do not attain the recommended levels of daily physical activity. Research has shown that the game Poké mon GO has increased the amount of physical activity of players and that the game has the potential to reach populations that traditionally have low levels of physical activity. Therefore, there is a need to understand which game components can promote initial and sustained physical activity. By using a qualitative research approach, it is possible to achieve rich descriptions and enhance a deep understanding of the components promoting physical activity among children in a game such as Poké mon GO. Objective: The objective of this study was to explore children’s and parents’ experiences playing Poké mon GO. Methods: Eight families comprising 13 children (aged 7-12 years) and 9 parents were selected using purposeful sampling. Data collected using focus groups were analyzed using qualitative latent content analysis. Results: The following three themes were revealed: (1) exciting and enjoyable exploration; (2) dangers and disadvantages; and (3) cooperation conquers competition. The first centers around the present and possible future aspects of Poké mon GO that promote physical activity. The second focuses on unwanted aspects and specific threats to safety when playing the game. The third shows that cooperation and togetherness are highly valued by the participants and that competition is fun but less important. Conclusions: Components from Poké mon GO could enhance the efficacy of physical activity interventions. Cooperation and exploration are aspects of the game that preferably could be transferred into interventions aimed at promoting children’s physical activity.

  • Source: Pixabay; Copyright: Sasint; URL: https://pixabay.com/en/chicken-old-man-birds-wings-1822472/; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    The Role of Transfer in Designing Games and Simulations for Health: Systematic Review

    Abstract:

    Background: The usefulness and importance of serious games and simulations in learning and behavior change for health and health-related issues are widely recognized. Studies have addressed games and simulations as interventions, mostly in comparison with their analog counterparts. Numerous complex design choices have to be made with serious games and simulations for health, including choices that directly contribute to the effects of the intervention. One of these decisions is the way an intervention is expected to lead to desirable transfer effects. Most designs adopt a first-class transfer rationale, whereas the second class of transfer types seems a rarity in serious games and simulations for health. Objective: This study sought to review the literature specifically on the second class of transfer types in the design of serious games and simulations. Focusing on game-like interventions for health and health care, this study aimed to (1) determine whether the second class of transfer is recognized as a road for transfer in game-like interventions, (2) review the application of the second class of transfer type in designing game-like interventions, and (3) assess studies that include second-class transfer types reporting transfer outcomes. Methods: A total of 6 Web-based databases were systematically searched by titles, abstracts, and keywords using the search strategy (video games OR game OR games OR gaming OR computer simulation*) AND (software design OR design) AND (fidelity OR fidelities OR transfer* OR behaviour OR behavior). The databases searched were identified as relevant to health, education, and social science. Results: A total of 15 relevant studies were included, covering a range of game-like interventions, all more or less mentioning design parameters aimed at transfer. We found 9 studies where first-class transfer was part of the design of the intervention. In total, 8 studies dealt with transfer concepts and fidelity types in game-like intervention design in general; 3 studies dealt with the concept of second-class transfer types and reported effects, and 2 of those recognized transfer as a design parameter. Conclusions: In studies on game-like interventions for health and health care, transfer is regarded as a desirable effect but not as a basic principle for design. None of the studies determined the second class of transfer or instances thereof, although in 3 cases a nonliteral transfer type was present. We also found that studies on game-like interventions for health do not elucidate design choices made and rarely provide design principles for future work. Games and simulations for health abundantly build upon the principles of first-class transfer, but the adoption of second-class transfer types proves scarce. It is likely to be worthwhile to explore the possibilities of second-class transfer types, as they may considerably influence educational objectives in terms of future serious game design for health.

  • Source: The Authors / Placeit.net; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL: http://games.jmir.org/2017/4/e22/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Breaking Health Insurance Knowledge Barriers Through Games: Pilot Test of Health Care America

    Abstract:

    Background: Having health insurance is associated with a number of beneficial health outcomes. However, previous research suggests that patients tend to avoid health insurance information and often misunderstand or lack knowledge about many health insurance terms. Health insurance knowledge is particularly low among young adults. Objective: The purpose of this study was to design and test an interactive newsgame (newsgames are games that apply journalistic principles in their creation, for example, gathering stories to immerse the player in narratives) about health insurance. This game included entry-level information through scenarios and was designed through the collation of national news stories, local personal accounts, and health insurance company information. Methods: A total of 72 (N=72) participants completed in-person, individual gaming sessions. Participants completed a survey before and after game play. Results: Participants indicated a greater self-reported understanding of how to use health insurance from pre- (mean=3.38, SD=0.98) to postgame play (mean=3.76, SD=0.76); t71=−3.56, P=.001. For all health insurance terms, participants self-reported a greater understanding following game play. Finally, participants provided a greater number of correct definitions for terms after playing the game, (mean=3.91, SD=2.15) than they did before game play (mean=2.59, SD=1.68); t31=−3.61, P=.001. Significant differences from pre- to postgame play differed by health insurance term. Conclusions: A game is a practical solution to a difficult health issue—the game can be played anywhere, including on a mobile device, is interactive and will thus engage an apathetic audience, and is cost-efficient in its execution.

  • A group of students and Pokémon GO players at the project explanation in one of the university recreation fields. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Examining Motivations to Play Pokémon GO and Their Influence on Perceived Outcomes and Physical Activity

    Abstract:

    Background: Pokémon GO is the most played augmented reality game in history. With more than 44 million players at the peak of its popularity, the game has sparked interest on its effects on the young population’s health. Objective: This pilot study examined motivations to start playing Pokémon GO among a sample of US college students, and how motivations were associated with perceived outcomes of the playing experience and physical activity derived while playing. Methods: In November 2016, we asked a sample of 47 US college students (all Pokémon GO players) to complete online surveys and install an ecological momentary assessment (EMA) tool and step counter on their smartphones. The EMA tool prompted a set of questions on playing behavior and physical activity, 3 times per day (12:00 PM, 7:00 PM, and 10:00 PM), for 7 days. We used a factorial analysis to identify 3 distinctive groups of players based on their motivations to start playing Pokémon GO. We tested differences across motivation groups related to 5 unique outcomes using 1-way analysis of variance. Results: We extracted 3 interpretable factors from the clustering of motivations to start playing Pokémon GO: Pokémon and video game fans (n=26, 55% of the sample), physical activity seekers (n=8, 17%), and curious & social (n=13, 28%). The clusters differed significantly on the enjoyment of different aspects of the game, particularly battling, discovering new places, and meeting new people, as well as differences in agreement that playing improved mood and made them more social. Days when playing Pokémon GO were associated with higher number of steps reported at the end of the day, especially among physical activity seekers, but also for Pokémon and video game fans. All groups perceived traffic as a major threat to playing. Conclusions: Days during which Pokémon GO was played were positively associated with a set of beneficial health behaviors, including higher physical activity levels, more socialization, and better mood. Results, however, depended on personal motivations and expectations when joining the game. These results highlight the importance of taking motivation into account when attempting to extract conclusions from the Pokémon GO phenomenon to enhance future exergames’ designs or health interventions.

  • Recipe box. Source: Figure 2 from http://games.jmir.org/2017/4/e20; Copyright: the authors; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Mommio’s Recipe Box: Assessment of the Cooking Habits of Mothers of Preschoolers and Their Perceptions of Recipes for a Video Game

    Abstract:

    Background: Vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet because they help prevent several chronic diseases. Mothers of preschoolers reported difficulty getting their young children to eat vegetables, and many did not know how to cook child-pleasing recipes. Objective: The cooking habits of mothers of preschoolers, their perceptions of recipes designed for their children, and the involvement of their children in food preparation were assessed to inform a food parenting video game called Mommio. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used. Eligibility criteria included mothers of 3- to 5-year-old children who reported difficulty getting their children to eat vegetables. Participants completed a demographic questionnaire with questions about their food preparation practices. They were asked to select up to 4 of the 10 provided recipes they wanted to try and to prepare and report back on their experiences. Results: Most (46) of the 50 recipes included in Mommio’s in-game recipe box were evaluated at least once and some up to 5 times with a total of 85 evaluations. This well-educated, mostly employed, sample of 27 mothers of preschoolers preferred simple, quick recipes. They ate primarily at home, made dinners from scratch, and indicated that the 46 recipes were generally simple, quick, and easy to prepare. Involvement in preparation enhanced their child’s acceptance of the food. Prior food and preparation preferences influenced the children’s acceptance of the dish at the ensuing meal. Conclusions: The high rate of home recipe preparation indicated that including a recipe selection and preparation component in a food parenting video game could be attractive and may enhance effectiveness. Mothers reported that the recipes provided were generally easy to prepare, tasted good, and the instructions were easy to understand, suggesting they could be helpful to the mothers when playing a vegetable parenting game. Some mothers reported that involving their children in recipe preparation influenced their children’s willingness to eat the vegetables. The highest rated recipes are being included in the game, and mothers will be encouraged to involve their children in recipe preparation.

  • The cycling game. Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL: http://games.jmir.org/2017/4/e19/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Usability Test of Exercise Games Designed for Rehabilitation of Elderly Patients After Hip Replacement Surgery: Pilot Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Patients who receive rehabilitation after hip replacement surgery are shown to have increased muscle strength and better functional performance. However, traditional physiotherapy is often tedious and leads to poor adherence. Exercise games, provide ways for increasing the engagement of elderly patients and increase the uptake of rehabilitation exercises. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate Fietsgame (Dutch for cycling game), which translates existing rehabilitation exercises into fun exercise games. The system connects exercise games with a patient’s personal record and a therapist interface by an Internet of Things server. Thus, both the patient and physiotherapist can monitor the patient’s medical status. Methods: This paper describes a pilot study that evaluates the usability of the Fietsgame. The study was conducted in a rehabilitation center with 9 participants, including 2 physiotherapists and 7 patients. The patients were asked to play 6 exercise games, each lasting about 5 min, under the guidance of a physiotherapist. The mean age of the patients was 74.57 years (standard deviation [SD] 8.28); all the patients were in the recovery process after hip surgery. Surveys were developed to quantitatively measure the usability factors, including presence, enjoyment, pain, exertion, and technology acceptance. Comments on advantages and suggested improvements of our game system provided by the physiotherapists and patients were summarized and their implications were discussed. Results: The results showed that after successfully playing the games, 75% to 100% of the patients experienced high levels of enjoyment in all the games except the squats game. Patients reported the highest level of exertion in squats when compared with other exercise games. Lunges resulted in the highest dropout rate (43%) due to interference with the Kinect v2 from support chairs. All the patients (100%) found the game system useful and easy to use, felt that it would be a useful tool in their further rehabilitation, and expressed that they would like to use the game in the future. The therapists indicated that the exercise games highly meet the criteria of motor rehabilitation, and they intend to continue using the game as part of their rehabilitation treatment of patients. Comments from the patients and physiotherapists suggest that real-time corrective feedback when patients perform the exercises wrongly and a more personalized user interface with options for increasing or decreasing cognitive load are needed. Conclusions: The results suggest that Fietsgame can be used as an alternative tool to traditional motor rehabilitation for patients with hip surgery. Lunges and squats are found to be more beneficial for patients who have relatively better balance skills. A follow-up randomized controlled study will be conducted to test the effectiveness of the Fietsgame to investigate how motivating it is over a longer period of time.

  • REWIRE neglect exergame Gathering Apples. Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: The authors; URL: http://games.jmir.org/2017/3/e18/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    User Perspectives on Exergames Designed to Explore the Hemineglected Space for Stroke Patients With Visuospatial Neglect: Usability Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Visuospatial neglect due to stroke is characterized by the inability to perceive stimuli emerging in the area opposite to the side of brain damage. Besides adopting conventional rehabilitation methods to treat neglect symptoms, the use of virtual reality (VR) is becoming increasingly popular. We designed a series of 9 exergames aimed to improve exploration of the neglected side of space. When new VR interventions are designed, it is important to assess the usability aspects of such management strategies within the target population. To date, most studies used questionnaires to assess user satisfaction with the intervention or product being tested. However, only a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data allows a full picture of user perspective. Objective: The purpose of this study was to quantitatively and qualitatively assess patient and therapist perspectives of a VR intervention based on the series of 9 exergames designed to explore hemineglected space. Specifically, we wanted to evaluate (1) perceived-user friendliness of the exergames, (2) attitude towards using the exergames, and (3) intention to use the exergames in the future. Methods: A total of 19 participants (7 patients, 12 therapists) evaluated the exergames they had used 5 times a week during 3 weeks. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) questionnaire was filled out after the intervention. Based on those responses, we conducted focus group interviews (with therapists) and individual interviews (with patients). To analyze the TAM questionnaires, we used descriptive statistics. We adopted content and comparative analysis to analyze the interviews and drew illustration maps to analyze the focus group interviews. Results: The therapists took a more critical stance with a mean TAM questionnaire total score of 48.6 (SD 4.5) compared to the patients who had a mean total score of 56.1 (SD 12.3). The perceived user-friendliness score was 5.6 (SD 1.4) for patients and 4.9 (SD 1.4) for therapists. The attitude towards using the exergames was rated 4.8 (SD 1.9) by patients and 3.6 (SD 1.4) by therapists, respectively. The intention to use the exergames in the future was rated 3.9 (SD 2.1) by patients and 3.7 (SD 1.8) by therapists. We gained information on how to improve the exergames in the interviews. Conclusions: Patients and therapists perceived the exergames as user-friendly; however, using the games further with the actual test version was not perceived as conceivable. The therapists were generally more critical towards future use than the patients. Therefore, involving both users to achieve acceptable and user-friendly versions of game-based rehabilitation for the future is deemed crucial and warranted. Trial Registration: Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02353962; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02353962 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6soxIJlAZ)

  • REWIRE neglect exergames training station (game: Sequence Builder). Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: Bernadette Tobler-Ammann; URL: http://games.jmir.org/2017/3/e17/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Exergames Encouraging Exploration of Hemineglected Space in Stroke Patients With Visuospatial Neglect: A Feasibility Study

    Abstract:

    Background: Use of exergames can complement conventional therapy and increase the amount and intensity of visuospatial neglect (VSN) training. A series of 9 exergames—games based on therapeutic principles—aimed at improving exploration of the neglected space for patients with VSN symptoms poststroke was developed and tested for its feasibility. Objectives: The goal was to determine the feasibility of the exergames with minimal supervision in terms of (1) implementation of the intervention, including adherence, attrition and safety, and (2) limited efficacy testing, aiming to document possible effects on VSN symptoms in a case series of patients early poststroke. Methods: A total of 7 patients attended the 3-week exergames training program on a daily basis. Adherence of the patients was documented in a training diary. For attrition, the number of participants lost during the intervention was registered. Any adverse events related to the exergames intervention were noted to document safety. Changes in cognitive and spatial exploration skills were measured with the Zürich Maxi Mental Status Inventory and the Neglect Test. Additionally, we developed an Eye Tracker Neglect Test (ETNT) using an infrared camera to detect and measure neglect symptoms pre- and postintervention. Results: The median was 14 out of 15 (93%) attended sessions, indicating that the adherence to the exergames training sessions was high. There were no adverse events and no drop-outs during the exergame intervention. The individual cognitive and spatial exploration skills slightly improved postintervention (P=.06 to P=.98) and continued improving at follow-up (P=.04 to P=.92) in 5 out of 7 (71%) patients. Calibration of the ETNT was rather error prone. The ETNT showed a trend for a slight median group improvement from 15 to 16 total located targets (+6%). Conclusions: The high adherence rate and absence of adverse events showed that these exergames were feasible and safe for the participants. The results of the amount of exergames use is promising for future applications and warrants further investigations—for example, in the home setting of patients to augment training frequency and intensity. The preliminary results indicate the potential of these exergames to cause improvements in cognitive and spatial exploration skills over the course of training for stroke patients with VSN symptoms. Thus, these exergames are proposed as a motivating training tool to complement usual care. The ETNT showed to be a promising assessment for quantifying spatial exploration skills. However, further adaptations are needed, especially regarding calibration issues, before its use can be justified in a larger study sample.

  • Rehabilitation Gaming System used at Home. Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: SPECS; URL: http://specs.upf.edu/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Domiciliary VR-Based Therapy for Functional Recovery and Cortical Reorganization: Randomized Controlled Trial in Participants at the Chronic Stage Post Stroke

    Abstract:

    Background: Most stroke survivors continue to experience motor impairments even after hospital discharge. Virtual reality-based techniques have shown potential for rehabilitative training of these motor impairments. Here we assess the impact of at-home VR-based motor training on functional motor recovery, corticospinal excitability and cortical reorganization. Objective: The aim of this study was to identify the effects of home-based VR-based motor rehabilitation on (1) cortical reorganization, (2) corticospinal tract, and (3) functional recovery after stroke in comparison to home-based occupational therapy. Methods: We conducted a parallel-group, controlled trial to compare the effectiveness of domiciliary VR-based therapy with occupational therapy in inducing motor recovery of the upper extremities. A total of 35 participants with chronic stroke underwent 3 weeks of home-based treatment. A group of subjects was trained using a VR-based system for motor rehabilitation, while the control group followed a conventional therapy. Motor function was evaluated at baseline, after the intervention, and at 12-weeks follow-up. In a subgroup of subjects, we used Navigated Brain Stimulation (NBS) procedures to measure the effect of the interventions on corticospinal excitability and cortical reorganization. Results: Results from the system’s recordings and clinical evaluation showed significantly greater functional recovery for the experimental group when compared with the control group (1.53, SD 2.4 in Chedoke Arm and Hand Activity Inventory). However, functional improvements did not reach clinical significance. After the therapy, physiological measures obtained from a subgroup of subjects revealed an increased corticospinal excitability for distal muscles driven by the pathological hemisphere, that is, abductor pollicis brevis. We also observed a displacement of the centroid of the cortical map for each tested muscle in the damaged hemisphere, which strongly correlated with improvements in clinical scales. Conclusions: These findings suggest that, in chronic stages, remote delivery of customized VR-based motor training promotes functional gains that are accompanied by neuroplastic changes. Trial Registration: International Standard Randomized Controlled Trial Number NCT02699398 (Archived by ClinicalTrials.gov at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02699398?term=NCT02699398&rank=1)

  • Older adult using a serious game on a tablet. Source: The Authors; Copyright: Rakel Berenbaum; URL: http://games.jmir.org/2017/3/e16/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Designing Serious Computer Games for People With Moderate and Advanced Dementia: Interdisciplinary Theory-Driven Pilot Study

    Abstract:

    Background: The field of serious games for people with dementia (PwD) is mostly driven by game-design principals typically applied to games created by and for younger individuals. Little has been done developing serious games to help PwD maintain cognition and to support functionality. Objectives: We aimed to create a theory-based serious game for PwD, with input from a multi-disciplinary team familiar with aging, dementia, and gaming theory, as well as direct input from end users (the iterative process). Targeting enhanced self-efficacy in daily activities, the goal was to generate a game that is acceptable, accessible and engaging for PwD. Methods: The theory-driven game development was based on the following learning theories: learning in context, errorless learning, building on capacities, and acknowledging biological changes—all with the aim to boost self-efficacy. The iterative participatory process was used for game screen development with input of 34 PwD and 14 healthy community dwelling older adults, aged over 65 years. Development of game screens was informed by the bio-psychological aging related disabilities (ie, motor, visual, and perception) as well as remaining neuropsychological capacities (ie, implicit memory) of PwD. At the conclusion of the iterative development process, a prototype game with 39 screens was used for a pilot study with 24 PwD and 14 healthy community dwelling older adults. The game was played twice weekly for 10 weeks. Results: Quantitative analysis showed that the average speed of successful screen completion was significantly longer for PwD compared with healthy older adults. Both PwD and controls showed an equivalent linear increase in the speed for task completion with practice by the third session (P<.02). Most important, the rate of improved processing speed with practice was not statistically different between PwD and controls. This may imply that some form of learning occurred for PwD at a nonsignificantly different rate than for controls. Qualitative results indicate that PwD found the game engaging and fun. Healthy older adults found the game too easy. Increase in self-reported self-efficacy was documented with PwD only. Conclusions: Our study demonstrated that PwD’s speed improved with practice at the same rate as healthy older adults. This implies that when tasks are designed to match PwD’s abilities, learning ensues. In addition, this pilot study of a serious game, designed for PwD, was accessible, acceptable, and enjoyable for end users. Games designed based on learning theories and input of end users and a multi-disciplinary team familiar with dementia and aging may have the potential of maintaining capacity and improving functionality of PwD. A larger longer study is needed to confirm our findings and evaluate the use of these games in assessing cognitive status and functionality.

  • Source: Image created by the authors; Copyright: The authors; URL: http://games.jmir.org/2017/3/e14/; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Rehabilitation-Oriented Serious Game Development and Evaluation Guidelines for Musculoskeletal Disorders

    Abstract:

    Background: The progress in information and communication technology (ICT) led to the development of a new rehabilitation technique called “serious game for functional rehabilitation.” Previous works have shown that serious games can be used for general health and specific disease management. However, there is still lack of consensus on development and evaluation guidelines. It is important to note that the game performance depends on the designed scenario. Objective: The objective of this work was to develop specific game scenarios and evaluate them with a panel of musculoskeletal patients to propose game development and evaluation guidelines. Methods: A two-stage workflow was proposed using determinant framework. The development guideline includes the selection of three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics technologies and tools, the modeling of physical aspects, the design of rehabilitation scenarios, and the implementation of the proposed scenarios. The evaluation guideline consists of the definition of evaluation metrics, the execution of the evaluation campaign, the analysis of user results and feedbacks, and the improvement of the designed game. Results: The case study for musculoskeletal disorders on the healthy control and patient groups showed the usefulness of these guidelines and associated games. All participants enjoyed the 2 developed games (football and object manipulation), and found them challenging and amusing. In particular, some healthy subjects increased their score when enhancing the level of difficulty. Furthermore, there were no risks and accidents associated with the execution of these games. Conclusions: It is expected that with the proven effectiveness of the proposed guidelines and associated games, this new rehabilitation game may be translated into clinical routine practice for the benefit of patients with musculoskeletal disorders.

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  • Physical Wellness Among Gaming Adults: A Cross-Sectional Study

    Date Submitted: Dec 4, 2017

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 4, 2017 - Jan 29, 2018

    Background: Video and hobby gaming are immensely popular among adults, but associations between gaming and health have primarily been studied in children and adolescents. Furthermore, most research fo...

    Background: Video and hobby gaming are immensely popular among adults, but associations between gaming and health have primarily been studied in children and adolescents. Furthermore, most research focuses on electronic gaming despite traditional hobby gaming becoming more prominent Objective: To determine whether the number of platforms played, platform preference, and gaming time are associated with obesity, physical activity, sedentary behavior, and cardiovascular risk factors Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional analysis using data obtained from 292 participants attending a large Midwestern gaming convention. Data were collected using a computer-based questionnaire that included questions on gaming behavior, demographics, physical activity (using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire), and health characteristics. Multivariable-adjusted linear and logistic regression were used to model health outcomes as a function of number of platforms played, platform preference, and weekday and weekend gaming time quartile. Results: After adjusting for covariates, a significant linear trend was seen for increasing odds of being obese and greater weekend sitting time by number of platforms played (P = 0.03 for both). Platform preference and weekend gaming time quartile showed significant associations with odds of meeting physical activity recommendations (P = 0.047 and P = 0.03 respectively). Greater odds of being obese were seen for those reporting that they sat most or all of the time while gaming (2.69 (1.14-6.31) and 2.71 (1.06-6.93) respectively). Conclusions: In adult gamers the number of platforms they play, which platforms they prefer to play on, and the amount of time spent gaming on the weekends could have important implications for their odds of being obese and meeting physical activity recommendations.

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