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Journal Description

JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279; Impact Factor: 2.226) 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.

The journal is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, DOAJ, and SCIE/Web of Science, and JCR (Journal Citation Reports) where it received an official impact factor by Clarivate. In June 2018, JSG received an official inaugural journal impact factor of 2.226 (Journal Citation Reports 2017, Clarivate Analytics), ranking JSG at the top of all gaming related academic journals, ahead of (for example) more established competitor journals such as the Games for Health Journal. 


Recent Articles:

  • A VR platform used for distraction during pedatric IV procedures. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Novel Clinician-Orchestrated Virtual Reality Platform for Distraction During Pediatric Intravenous Procedures in Children With Hemophilia: Randomized...


    Background: Needles are frequently required for routine medical procedures. Children with severe hemophilia require intensive intravenous (IV) therapy to treat and prevent life-threatening bleeding and undergo hundreds of IV procedures. Fear of needle-related procedures may lead to avoidance of future health care and poor clinical outcomes. Virtual reality (VR) is a promising distraction technique during procedures, but barriers to commercially available VR platforms for pediatric health care purposes have prevented widespread use. Objective: We hypothesized that we could create a VR platform that would be used for pediatric hemophilia care, allow clinician orchestration, and be safe and feasible to use for distraction during IV procedures performed as part of complex health care. Methods: We created a VR platform comprising wireless, adjustable, disposable headsets and a suite of remotely orchestrated VR games. The platform was customized for a pediatric hemophilia population that required hands-free navigation to allow access to a child’s hands or arms for procedures. A hemophilia nurse observing the procedure performed orchestration. The primary endpoint of the trial was safety. Preliminary feasibility and usability of the platform were assessed in a single-center, randomized clinical trial from June to December 2016. Participants were children with hemophilia aged 6-18 years. After obtaining informed consent, 25 patients were enrolled and randomized. Each subject, 1 caregiver, and 1 hemophilia nurse orchestrator assessed the degree of preprocedural nervousness or anxiety with an anchored, combined modified visual analog (VAS)/FACES scale. Each participant then underwent a timed IV procedure with either VR or standard of care (SOC) distraction. Each rater assessed the distraction methods using the VAS/FACES scale at the completion of the IV procedure, with questions targeting usability, engagement, impact on procedural anxiety, impact on procedural pain, and likability of the distraction technique. Participants, caregivers, and nurses also rated how much they would like to use VR for future procedures. To compare the length of procedure time between the groups, Mann-Whitney test was used. Results: Of the 25 enrolled children, 24 were included in the primary analysis. No safety concerns or VR sickness occurred. The median procedure time was 10 (range 1-31) minutes in the VR group and was comparable to 9 (range 3-20) minutes in the SOC group (P=.76). Patients in both the groups reported a positive influence of distraction on procedural anxiety and pain. Overall, in 80% (34/45) of the VR evaluations, children, caregivers, and nurses reported that they would like to use VR for future procedures. Conclusions: We demonstrated that an orchestrated, VR environment could be developed and safely used during pediatric hemophilia care for distraction during IV interventions. This platform has the potential to improve patient experience during medical procedures. Trial Registration: Clinical NCT03507582; (Archived by WebCite at

  • Rainbow SPARX image. Source: Rainbow SPARX image; Copyright: Auckland Uniservices; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    How LGBT+ Young People Use the Internet in Relation to Their Mental Health and Envisage the Use of e-Therapy: Exploratory Study


    Background: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth and other young people diverse in terms of their sexuality and gender (LGBT+) are at an elevated risk of mental health problems such as depression. Factors such as isolation and stigma mean that accessing mental health services can be particularly challenging for LGBT+ young people, and previous studies have highlighted that many prefer to access psychological support on the Web. Research from New Zealand has demonstrated promising effectiveness and acceptability for an LGBT+ focused, serious game–based, computerized cognitive behavioral therapy program, Rainbow Smart, Positive, Active, Realistic, X-factor thoughts (SPARX). However, there has been limited research conducted in the area of electronic therapy (e-therapy) for LGBT+ people. Objective: This study aimed to explore how and why LGBT+ young people use the internet to support their mental health. This study also sought to explore LGBT+ young people’s and professionals’ views about e-therapies, drawing on the example of Rainbow SPARX. Methods: A total of 3 focus groups and 5 semistructured interviews were conducted with 21 LGBT+ young people (aged 15-22 years) and 6 professionals (4 health and social care practitioners and 2 National Health Service commissioners) in England and Wales. A general inductive approach was used to analyze data. Results: LGBT+ youth participants considered that the use of the internet was ubiquitous, and it was valuable for support and information. However, they also thought that internet use could be problematic, and they highlighted certain internet safety and personal security considerations. They drew on a range of gaming experiences and expectations to inform their feedback about Rainbow SPARX. Their responses focused on the need for this e-therapy program to be updated and refined. LGBT+ young people experienced challenges related to stigma and mistreatment, and they suggested that strategies addressing their common challenges should be included in e-therapy content. Professional study participants also emphasized the need to update and refine Rainbow SPARX. Moreover, professionals highlighted some of the issues associated with e-therapies needing to demonstrate effectiveness and challenges associated with health service commissioning processes. Conclusions: LGBT+ young people use the internet to obtain support and access information, including information related to their mental health. They are interested in LGBT-specific e-therapies; however, these must be in a contemporary format, engaging, and adequately acknowledge the experiences of LGBT+ young people.

  • Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Potential of an Interactive Drug Prevention Mobile Phone App (Once Upon a High): Questionnaire Study Among Students


    Background: In recent years, drug prevention networks and drug education programs have started using Web-based or mobile phone apps as novel prevention tools, testing their efficacy compared with face-to-face prevention. Objective: The aim of this study was to assess the potential of an interactive app called Once Upon a High (VoltEgySzer). Methods: The app approaches drug prevention from 6 different aspects, and it addresses youngsters with 6 different modules: (1) interactive comics/cartoons, telling stories of recovery; (2) quiz game; (3) roleplay game; (4) introduction of psychoactive drugs; (5) information on the somatic and psychological effects of psychoactive substances; (6) list of available treatment units, rehabs, and self-support groups in Hungary. Students of 2 vocational schools and 2 high schools filled out a questionnaire at a baseline (T0) and a 2-month follow-up (T1) data collection session. Students of 1 vocational school and 1 high school downloaded the Once Upon a High app (app group), whereas students from the other vocational school and high school did not (nonapp group). The time points of T0 and T1 questionnaires contained demographic variables, items with regard to substance use characteristics for both legal and illegal substances, including novel psychoactive substance, exercise habits, knowledge about psychoactive substances, attitudes toward substance users and validated instruments measuring the severity of tobacco (Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence), alcohol (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test), cannabis (Cannabis Abuse Screening Test), and synthetic cannabinoid consumption. Beliefs about substance use (Beliefs About Substance Abuse) and perceived self-efficacy (General Perceived Self-Efficacy) were also measured. At T1, members of the app group provided additional evaluation of the app. Results: There were 386 students who participated in the T0 session. After dropout, 246 students took part in T1 data collection procedure. Alcohol was the most frequently consumed psychoactive substance (334/364, 91.8% lifetime use), followed by tobacco (252/386, 65.3%, lifetime use) and cannabis (43/323, 13.3% lifetime use). Decreased self-efficacy (beta=−.29, P=.04) and increased daily physical exercise frequencies (beta=.04, P<.001) predicted higher frequencies of past month energy drink consumption, whereas elevated past month alcohol consumption was mainly predicted by a decrease in negative attitudes toward substance users (beta=−.13, P=.04) in the regression models. Once Upon a High was found to be effective only in reducing energy drink consumption (beta=−1.13, P=.04) after controlling for design effect, whereas perceived utility of the app showed correlation with a decreasing alcohol use (rS(44)=.32, P=.03). The roleplay module of the app was found to be the most preferred aspect of the app by the respondents. Conclusions: The Once Upon a High app can be a useful tool to assist preventive intervention programs by increasing knowledge and self-efficacy; however, its efficacy in reducing or preventing substance use needs to be improved and further studied. Additional potential impacts of the app need further testing.

  • Cigbreak app (montage). Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Creating a Theoretically Grounded, Gamified Health App: Lessons From Developing the Cigbreak Smoking Cessation Mobile Phone Game


    Background: Gaming techniques are increasingly recognized as effective methods for changing behavior and increasing user engagement with mobile phone apps. The rapid uptake of mobile phone games provides an unprecedented opportunity to reach large numbers of people and to influence a wide range of health-related behaviors. However, digital interventions are still nascent in the field of health care, and optimum gamified methods of achieving health behavior change are still being investigated. There is currently a lack of worked methodologies that app developers and health care professionals can follow to facilitate theoretically informed design of gamified health apps. Objective: This study aimed to present a series of steps undertaken during the development of Cigbreak, a gamified smoking cessation health app. Methods: A systematic and iterative approach was adopted by (1) forming an expert multidisciplinary design team, (2) defining the problem and establishing user preferences, (3) incorporating the evidence base, (4) integrating gamification, (5) adding behavior change techniques, (6) forming a logic model, and (7) user testing. A total of 10 focus groups were conducted with 73 smokers. Results: Users found the app an engaging and motivating way to gain smoking cessation advice and a helpful distraction from smoking; 84% (62/73) of smokers said they would play again and recommend it to a friend. Conclusions: A dedicated gamified app to promote smoking cessation has the potential to modify smoking behavior and to deliver effective smoking cessation advice. Iterative, collaborative development using evidence-based behavior change techniques and gamification may help to make the game engaging and potentially effective. Gamified health apps developed in this way may have the potential to provide effective and low-cost health interventions in a wide range of clinical settings.

  • Visual representation of the Emotion-in-Motion task. The images are not those used in the actual task. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Emotion-in-Motion, a Novel Approach for the Modification of Attentional Bias: An Experimental Proof-of-Concept Study


    Background: Individuals with heightened anxiety vulnerability tend to preferentially attend to emotionally negative information, with evidence suggesting that 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: This 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 with the traditional probe-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 before and following this stressor. Results: Although the conventional ABM task failed to induce differential patterns of attentional bias or affect anxiety vulnerability, the Emotion-in-Motion training did induce a greater attentional bias to negative faces in the attend-negative training condition than in the attend-positive training condition (P=.003, Cohen d=0.87) and led to a greater increase in stressor-induced state anxiety faces in the attend-negative training condition than in the attend-positive training condition (P=.03, Cohen 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.

  • A child playing Heritages (developed by Breathing Games contributors). Source: A New Economy; Copyright: A New Economy; URL:; License: Licensed by the authors.

    Developing Digital Games to Address Airway Clearance Therapy in Children With Cystic Fibrosis: Participatory Design Process

    Authors List:


    Background: Children affected with cystic fibrosis do respiratory exercises to release the mucus stuck in their lungs. Objective: The objective of our study was to develop prototypes of digital games that use breath pressure to make this daily physiotherapy more fun. Methods: We used a participatory design approach and organized short events to invite contributors from different disciplines to develop game prototypes. From the 6 prototypes, 3 were tested by 10 children during a prestudy. The source code of the games, of which 2 continue to be developed, has been released on the internet under fair use licenses. Results: We discuss 7 themes of importance in designing games for health, combining our experience with a review a posteriori of literature. Conclusions: This study provides examples of games and their pitfalls as well as recommendations to create games for health in a participatory approach that enables everyone to improve and adapt the work done.

  • Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Implementations of Virtual Reality for Anxiety-Related Disorders: Systematic Review


    Background: Although traditional forms of therapy for anxiety-related disorders (eg, cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT) have been effective, there have been long-standing issues with these therapies that largely center 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 (eg, weather and bystander behavior) or additional expenses such as travel to reach a destination. To address these issues, past studies have implemented virtual reality (VR) technologies for virtual reality exposure therapy (VRET) to provide an immersive, interactive experience that can be conducted privately and inexpensively. The versatility of VR allows various environments and scenarios to be generated while giving therapists control over variables that would otherwise be impossible in a natural setting. 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 can and should improve to treat disorders in which anxiety is a key symptom, including specific phobias, posttraumatic stress disorder and acute stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and paranoid ideations. Objective: The aim of this review was to establish the efficacy of VR-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 before August 31, 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 2419 studies. These studies were a mix of case studies focused solely on VRET, experimental studies comparing the efficacy of VRET with various forms of CBT (eg, 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 favor 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 to provide a completely immersive and interactive experience that is capable of blurring the lines between the real and virtual world.

  • Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Patterns Among 754 Gamification Cases: Content Analysis for Gamification Development


    Background: Gamification is one of the techniques that applies game elements, such as game mechanics and dynamics, to a nongame context (eg, management, education, marketing, and health care). A variety of methodologies have been published for developing gamification. However, some of these are only usable by people with a certain level of gamification knowledge. People who do not have such knowledge face difficulty in using game mechanics and experiencing enjoyment. To ease their difficulties, a gamification methodology should provide directions for using game mechanics. Objective: This study aimed at collecting global gamification cases and determining patterns or differences among the collected cases. Methods: In total, 754 cases were collected based on 4F process elements, such as play type, playful user experience (PLEX)–based fun factors, and game mechanics. In addition, the collected cases were classified into 6 categories. From the data analysis, basic statistics and correlation analyses (Pearson and Kendall) were conducted. Results: According to the analysis results in PLEX-based fun factors, challenge and completion fun factors formed a large proportion among the 6 categories. In the results of the game mechanics analysis, point, leaderboard, and progress accounted for a large proportion among the 6 categories. The results of the correlation analysis showed no difference or specific patterns in game mechanics (Pearson r>.8, Kendall τ>.5, P<.05) and PLEX-based fun factors (Pearson r>.8, Kendall τ>.7, P<.05). Conclusions: On the basis of the statistical findings, this study suggests an appropriate number of PLEX-based fun factors and game mechanics. In addition, the results of this study should be used for people who do not have gamification knowledge and face difficulty using game mechanics and PLEX-based fun factors.

  • In-game welcome screen from OU Brainwave app (montage). Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    A Mobile App Delivering a Gamified Battery of Cognitive Tests Designed for Repeated Play (OU Brainwave): App Design and Cohort Study


    Background: Mobile phone and tablet apps are an increasingly common platform for collecting data. A key challenge for researchers has been participant “buy-in” and attrition for designs requiring repeated testing. Objective: The objective of this study was to develop and assess the utility of 1-2 minute versions of both classic and novel cognitive tasks using a user-focused and user-driven mobile phone and tablet app designed to encourage repeated play. Methods: A large sample of app users (N=13,979 at first data collection) participated in multiple, self-paced sessions of classic working memory (N-back), spatial cognition (mental rotation), sustained attentional focus (persistent vigilance task), and split attention (multiple object tracking) tasks, along with the implementation of a comparatively novel action-learning task. The “OU Brainwave” app was designed to measure time-of-day variation in cognitive performance and did not offer any training program or promise any cognitive enhancement. To record participants’ chronotype, a full Morningness-Eveningness questionnaire was also included, which measures whether a person's circadian rhythm produces peak alertness in the morning, in the evening, or in between. Data were collected during an 18-month period. While the app prompted re-engagement at set intervals, participants were free to complete each task as many times as they wished. Results: We found a significant relationship between morningness and age (r=.298, n=12,755, P<.001), with no effect of gender (t13,539=−1.036, P=.30). We report good task adherence, with ~4000 participants repeatedly playing each game >4 times each—our minimum engagement level for analysis. Repeated plays of these games allowed us to replicate commonly reported gender effects in gamified spatial cognition (F1,4216=154.861, P<.001, η2ρ=.035), split attention (F1,4185=11.047, P=.001, η2ρ=.003), and sustained attentional focus (F1,4238=15.993, P<.001, η2ρ=.004) tasks. We also report evidence of a small gender effect in an action-learning task (F1,3988=90.59, P<.001, η2ρ=.022). Finally, we found a strong negative effect of self-reported age on performance, when controlling for number of plays, in sustained attentional focus (n=1596, F6,1595=30.23, P<.001, η2=.102), working memory (n=1627, F6,1626=19.78, P<.001, η2=.068), spatial cognition (n=1640, F6,1639=23.74, P<.001, η2=.080), and split attention tasks (n=1616, F6,1615=2.48, P=.02, η2=.009). Conclusions: Using extremely short testing periods and permitting participants to decide their 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 of balancing participant engagement with data fidelity.

  • The Delirium Experience serious game (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    A Web-Based Serious Game on Delirium as an Educational Intervention for Medical Students: Randomized Controlled Trial


    Background: Adequate delirium recognition and management are important to reduce the incidence and severity of delirium. To improve delirium recognition and management, training of medical staff and students is needed. Objective: In this study, we aimed to gain insight into whether the serious game, Delirium Experience, is suited as an educational intervention. Methods: We conducted a three-arm randomized controlled trial. We enrolled 156 students in the third year of their Bachelor of Medical Sciences degree at the University Medical Centre Groningen. The Game group of this study played Delirium Experience. The Control D group watched a video with explanations on delirium and a patient’s experience of delirious episodes. The Control A group watched a video on healthy aging. To investigate students’ skills, we used a video of a delirious patient for which students had to give care recommendations and complete the Delirium Observations Screening Scale and Delirium Rating Scale R-98. Furthermore, students completed the Delirium Attitude Scale, the Learning Motivation and Engagement Questionnaire, and self-reported knowledge on delirium. Results: In total, 156 students participated in this study (Game group, n=51; Control D group, n=51; Control A group, n=55). The Game group scored higher with a median (interquartile range) of 6 (4-8) for given recommendations and learning motivation and engagement compared with the Control D (1, 1-4) and A (0, 0-3) groups (P<.001). Furthermore, the Game group scored higher (7, 6-8) on self-reported knowledge compared with the Control A group (6, 5-6; P<.001). We did not find differences between the groups regarding delirium screening (P=.07) and rating (P=.45) skills or attitude toward delirious patients (P=.55). Conclusions: The serious game, Delirium Experience, is suitable as an educational intervention to teach delirium care to medical students and has added value in addition to a lecture.

  • Virtual reality head-mounted display in use. Source: B Garrett, University of British Columbia; Copyright: B Garrett, University of British Columbia; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Virtual Reality Clinical Research: Promises and Challenges


    Background: Virtual reality (VR) therapy has been explored as a novel therapeutic approach for numerous health applications, in which three-dimensional virtual environments can be explored in real time. Studies have found positive outcomes for patients using VR for clinical conditions such as anxiety disorders, addictions, phobias, posttraumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, stroke rehabilitation, and for pain management. Objective: This work aims to highlight key issues in the implementation of clinical research for VR technologies. Methods: A discussion paper was developed from a narrative review of recent clinical research in the field, and the researchers’ own experiences in conducting VR clinical research with chronic pain patients. Results: Some of the key issues in implementing clinical VR research include theoretical immaturity, a lack of technical standards, the problems of separating effects of media versus medium, practical in vivo issues, and costs. Conclusions: Over the last decade, some significant successes have been claimed for the use of VR. Nevertheless, the implementation of clinical VR research outside of the laboratory presents substantial clinical challenges. 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 improve the clinical significance of findings.

  • Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Digital Gaming to Improve Adherence Among Adolescents and Young Adults Living With HIV: Mixed-Methods Study to Test Feasibility and Acceptability


    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 video gaming to improve AYA ART adherence. Methods: Focus group discussions and surveys were administered to health care providers and AYA aged 13 to 24 years living with HIV at a pediatric HIV program in Washington, DC. During focus group discussions, AYA viewed demonstrations of 3 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. In 6 focus group discussions, 12 AYA participants 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.

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  • Frequency and factors associated with sustained exergaming in adolescents

    Date Submitted: Jan 8, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Jan 11, 2019 - Mar 8, 2019

    Background: Exergaming is increasing in popularity, but little is known about sustained exergaming. Objective: The objectives of this study were to describe the frequency and correlates/predictors of...

    Background: Exergaming is increasing in popularity, but little is known about sustained exergaming. Objective: The objectives of this study were to describe the frequency and correlates/predictors of sustained exergaming. Methods: Data were available in AdoQuest (2005-11), a longitudinal investigation of 1843 grade 5 students in in Montréal, Canada. This analysis uses data from grade 9 and 11. Participants at T1 (mean age 14 (0.8) years) who reported past-week exergaming (n = 186), completed mailed self-report questionnaires at T2 (mean age 16 (0.8) years). Independent correlates (from T2)/predictors (from T1 or earlier) were identified using multivariable logistic regression. Results: Of 186 exergamers at T1, 81 (44%) reported exergaming at T2. Being female and having higher introjected regulation (i.e., a type of PA motivation indicative of internalization of PA as a behaviour) were independent correlates.. None of the predictors investigated were associated with sustained exergaming. Conclusions: Almost 50% of grade 9 exergamers sustained for 2-3 years. In non-clinical settings, exergaming may be a viable approach to help adolescents maintain PA during adolescence, a period in the life course when PA generally declines. Sex and PA motivation should be considered in the design of exergaming interventions. Clinical Trial: N\A

  • Affective Game Planning for Assistive ICTs—A Quanti-tative Extension of Gerontoludic Design Based on the Appraisal Theory of Stress and Coping

    Date Submitted: Jan 3, 2019

    Open Peer Review Period: Jan 4, 2019 - Mar 1, 2019

    Digital games are increasingly promoted as beneficial assistive care technologies for older adults, with particular attention to designing them into health-related information and communication techno...

    Digital games are increasingly promoted as beneficial assistive care technologies for older adults, with particular attention to designing them into health-related information and communication technologies (ICT). However, the unfamiliarity of many older adults with ICTs poses a challenge, making human-machine interactions stressful, game learning slow and game retention low. Quantitative and clinical studies focus on evaluation of cognitive, emo-tional and physical benefits, concur with qualitative studies that user experience and perceptual factors about the meaning and benefits influence the motivation for game playing in older adults, but scientists and designers do not have a shared framework to evaluate and systematically document the game playing experience, and predict its potential harm or benefit to health. Based on a well-tested theoretical model of appraisal and stress, we propose a quantitative ap-proach that can provide documentable and objective iterative data in the me-chanics, dynamics, aesthetics (MDA) game design cycle.

  • e-motion1.0: validation of a virtual serious game to assess theory of mind in Primary school children.

    Date Submitted: Nov 28, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 12, 2018 - Feb 6, 2019

    Given the interactive media characteristics and intrinsically motivating appeal, virtual serious games are often praised for their potential in assessment and treatment. The aim of this study is to va...

    Given the interactive media characteristics and intrinsically motivating appeal, virtual serious games are often praised for their potential in assessment and treatment. The aim of this study is to validate a virtual serious game (e-motion1.0) in order to evaluate emotional facial expression recognition and social skills, components of theory of mind. A total of 1.236 children took part in the study. The children were classified by age (8-12 years old), gender (males = 639; females = 597) and educational level (3rd – 6th Primary level). Ten schools from the Basque Country and twenty trained evaluators participated in this study. Differences were found in e-motion1.0 scores between groups of children depending on age (p< 0.01) and gender (p< 0.05). Moreover, there was a moderate significant correlation (p< 0.05) between the emotional recognition scores of e-motion1.0 and those of the Feel facial recognition test (Kessler, 2002; Lázaro et al., 2016). E-motion1.0 shows concurrent validity with instruments that assess emotional recognition. Results support the adequacy of e-motion1.0 in assessing components of theory of mind in children.

  • Piloting the FIT Game to Increase Physical Activity in One Sixth Grade Classroom

    Date Submitted: Dec 6, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 10, 2018 - Feb 4, 2019

    Background: The FIT Game is an intervention that successfully increases fruit and vegetable consumption in elementary schools. Using the FIT Game to increase physical activity in school would strength...

    Background: The FIT Game is an intervention that successfully increases fruit and vegetable consumption in elementary schools. Using the FIT Game to increase physical activity in school would strengthen its ability as a healthy behavior change intervention. Objective: Evaluate if the FIT Game can increase physical activity among children. Methods: 29 participants were recruited from one sixth grade classroom in one elementary school. Participants wore an accelerometer while at school throughout the study. In an ABAB reversal design (A = baseline, B = FIT Game phase), during the B phases, if the group met a daily step-count goal, the game progressed by presenting another slideshow episode; if not, the game was paused until the next goal was met. Results: A Friedman’s test showed a significant effect of phase (P< .001). The FIT Game significantly increased physical activity at school by an average of 771 steps per day. Conclusions: The FIT Game increased step-counts taken during school hours; its effects on activity at home are unknown, as students wore accelerometers only at school.