JMIR Serious Games
A multidisciplinary journal on gaming and gamification including simulation and immersive virtual reality for health education/promotion, teaching, medicine, rehabilitation, and social change
JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279; Impact Factor: 4.14) is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to computer/web/virtual reality/mobile applications that incorporate elements of gaming, gamification or novel hardware platforms such as virtual reality headsets or Microsoft Kinect to solve serious problems such as health behavior change, physical exercise promotion (exergaming), medical rehabilitation, diagnosis and treatment of psychological/psychiatric disorders, medical education, health 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, DOAJ, Scopus, and SCIE/Web of Science. In June 2021, JSG received an impact factor of 4.14. JSG has also been accepted for indexing in PsycINFO.
Depression is a common mental disorder characterized by disturbances in mood, thoughts, or behaviors. Serious games, which are games that have a purpose other than entertainment, have been used as a nonpharmacological therapeutic intervention for depression. Previous systematic reviews have summarized evidence of effectiveness of serious games in reducing depression symptoms; however, they are limited by design and methodological shortcomings.
Serious games have the potential to resolve educational problems faced by medical students, such as insufficient rehearsal due to boredom and lack of motivation. However, serious games’ relatively novel concepts in science and many genres of games that are common in recreation remain underresearched in the literature. Board games are one such genre that, despite their potential, affordability, and flexibility, are rarely designed for medical students, and little is known about student perceptions of them and their compatibility with rehearsal.
The decline in performance of older people includes balance function, physical function, and fear of falling and depression. General cognitive function decline is described in terms of processing speed, working memory, attention, and executive functioning, and video game interventions may be effective.
Depression and anxiety in children and adolescents are major health problems worldwide. In recent years, serious games research has advanced in the development of tools to address these mental health conditions. However, there has not been an extensive analysis of these games, their tendencies, and capacities.
Augmented reality (AR) is a rapidly expanding technology; it comprises the generation of new images from digital information in the real physical environment of a person, which simulates an environment where the artificial and real are mixed. The use of AR in physiotherapy has shown benefits in certain areas of patient health. However, these benefits have not been studied as a whole.
Sufficient public health emergency preparedness (PHEP) is the key factor in effectively responding to and recovering from major emerging infectious diseases (MEIDs). However, in the face of MEIDs, PHEP is insufficient, so it is necessary to improve PHEP. The rapid development of virtual reality and human-computer interaction provides unprecedented opportunities for innovative educational methods.
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is often a precursor of dementia, and patients with MCI develop dementia at a higher rate than healthy older adults. Early detection of cognitive decline at the MCI stage supports better planning of care and interventions. At present, the use of virtual reality (VR) in screening for MCI in older adults is promising, but there is little evidence regarding the use of virtual supermarkets to screen for MCI.
While there has been increasing interest in the use of gamification in mental health care, there is a lack of design knowledge on how elements from games could be integrated into existing therapeutic treatment activities in a manner that is balanced and effective. To help address this issue, we propose a design process framework to support the development of mental health gamification. Based on the concept of experienced game versus therapy worlds, we highlight 4 different therapeutic components that could be gamified to increase user engagement. By means of a Dual-Loop model, designers can balance the therapeutic and game design components and design the core elements of a mental health care gamification. To support the proposed framework, 4 cases of game design in mental health care (eg, therapeutic protocols for addiction, anxiety, and low self-esteem) are presented.
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