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
Editor-in-Chief: Nabil Zary, MD, PhD, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Science, Dubai, UAE
Impact Factor 3.36
Nabil Zary, MD, PhD, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Science, Dubai, UAE
JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279; Impact Factor 3.36) is a multidisciplinary journal devoted to computer, web, virtual reality, mobile applications, and other emerging technologies that incorporate elements of gaming, gamification or novel hardware platforms such as virtual reality devices or wearables. The journal focuses on the use of this technology 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 (game-based learning), and social change. JSG also invites commentary and research in the fields of video game violence and video game addiction.
While JSG maintains a strong focus on health, the journal also aims to highlight research exploring serious games in health-adjacent and other interdisciplinary contexts, including but not limited to military, education, industry, and workplace applications.
In 2022, JMIR Serious Games received a Journal Impact Factor™ of 3.36 (5-Year Journal Impact Factor™: 4.30) (Source: Journal Citation Reports™ from Clarivate, 2022). The journal is indexed in PubMed, PubMed Central, DOAJ, Scopus, SCIE (Clarivate), and PsycINFO.
User involvement is widely accepted as key for designing effective applied games for health. This especially holds true for children and young people as target audiences, whose abilities, needs, and preferences can diverge substantially from those of adult designers and players. Nevertheless, there is little shared knowledge about how concretely children and young people have been involved in the design of applied games, let alone consensus guidance on how to do so effectively.
Inuit youth in Northern Canada show considerable resilience in the face of extreme adversities. However, they also experience significant mental health needs and some of the highest adolescent suicide rates in the world. Disproportionate rates of truancy, depression, and suicide among Inuit adolescents have captured the attention of all levels of government and the country. Inuit communities have expressed an urgent imperative to create, or adapt, and then evaluate prevention and intervention tools for mental health. These tools should build upon existing strengths, be culturally appropriate for Inuit communities, and be accessible and sustainable in Northern contexts, where mental health resources are often scarce.
The success rate of tuberculosis (TB) treatment in Malaysia remains below the recommended World Health Organization target of 90% despite the implementation of directly observed therapy, short-course, a physical drug monitoring system, since 1994. With increasing numbers of patients with TB in Malaysia defaulting on treatment, exploring another method to improve TB treatment adherence is vital. The use of gamification and real-time elements via video-observed therapies in mobile apps is one such method expected to induce motivation toward TB treatment adherence.
The COVID-19 pandemic introduced an urgent need for effective strategies to disseminate crucial knowledge and improve people’s subjective well-being. Complementing more conventional approaches to knowledge dissemination, game-based interventions were developed to create awareness and educate people about the pandemic, hoping to change their attitudes and behavior.
China has continuously issued policies to speed up the interconnection, mutual recognition, sharing of medical information systems, and data integration management across regions and institutions. However, the vertical integration of electronic health records (EHRs) within the medical consortium is hampered by “poor mechanism and insufficient motivation” and the phenomenon of “free riding” among participating medical institutions, which makes the integration less effective.
Virtual reality (VR) technology has been widely used in rehabilitation training because of its immersive, interactive, and imaginative features. A comprehensive bibliometric review is required to help researchers focus on future directions based on the new deﬁnitions of VR technologies in rehabilitation, which reveal new situations and requirements.
The use of serious games in health care is on the rise, as these games motivate treatment adherence, reduce treatment costs, and educate patients and families. However, current serious games fail to offer personalized interventions, ignoring the need to abandon the one-size-fits-all approach. Moreover, these games, with a primary objective other than pure entertainment, are costly and complex to develop and require the constant involvement of a multidisciplinary team. No standardized approach exists on how serious games can be personalized, as existing literature focuses on specific use cases and scenarios. The serious game development domain fails to consider any transfer of domain knowledge, which means this labor-intensive process must be repeated for each serious game.
A widely applied and effective rehabilitation method for patients experiencing spatial neglect after a stroke is “visual exploration training.” Patients improve their ipsilesional bias of attention and orientation by training exploration movements and search strategies toward the contralesional side of space. In this context, gamification can have a positive influence on motivation for treatment and thus on the success of treatment. In contrast to virtual reality applications, treatment enhancements through augmented reality (AR) have not yet been investigated, although they offer some advantages over virtual reality.
Complete blood count (CBC) and hemostatic screening tests are among the most commonly prescribed blood tests worldwide. All health care workers (nurse practitioners, pharmacists, dentists, midwives, and physicians) are expected to correctly interpret the results in their daily practice. Currently, the undergraduate hematology curriculum consists predominantly of lecture-based teaching. Because hematology combines basic science (blood cells and hemostasis physiology) and clinical skills, students report that they do not easily master hematology with only lecture-based teaching. Having interviewed students at the University of Lorraine, we considered it necessary to develop new teaching approaches and methods.
The metaverse is gaining traction in the general population and has become a priority of the technological industry. Defined as persistent virtual worlds that exist in virtual or augmented reality, the metaverse proposes to afford a range of activities of daily life, from socializing and relaxing to gaming, shopping, and working. Because of its scope, its projected popularity, and its immersivity, the metaverse may pose unique opportunities and risks for mental health. In this viewpoint article, we integrate existing evidence on the mental health impacts of video games, social media, and virtual reality to anticipate how the metaverse could influence mental health. We outline 2 categories of mechanisms related to mental health: experiences or behaviors afforded by the metaverse and experiences or behaviors displaced by it. The metaverse may benefit mental health by affording control (over an avatar and its virtual environment), cognitive activation, physical activity, social connections, and a sense of autonomy and competence. However, repetitive rewarding experiences may lead to addiction-like behaviors, and high engagement in virtual worlds may facilitate and perpetuate the avoidance of challenges in the offline environment. Further, time spent in virtual worlds may displace (reduce) other determinants of mental health, such as sleep rhythms and offline social capital. Importantly, individuals will differ in their uses of and psychological responses to the metaverse, resulting in heterogeneous impacts on their mental health. Their technological motivations, developmental stage, sociodemographic context, and prior mental health problems are some of the factors that may modify and frame the positive and negative effects of the metaverse on their mental health. In conclusion, as the metaverse is being scaffolded by the industry and by its users, there is a window of opportunity for researchers, clinicians, and people with lived experience to coproduce knowledge on its possible impacts on mental health and illness, with the hope of influencing policy-making, technological development, and counseling of patients.
Gamification in smoking cessation apps has been found to improve cognitive outcomes associated with higher odds of quitting. Although some research has shown that gamification can also positively impact behavioral outcomes such as smoking cessation, studies have largely focused on physical activity and mental health. Only a few studies have explored the effects of gamification on smoking cessation outcomes, of which the majority have adopted qualitative methodologies and/or assessed engagement with apps using self-report.
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