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 4.14

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.

Recent Articles

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Exergames, Active Games and Gamification of Physical Activity

Childhood obesity is one of the most important public health problems. Active video games (AVGs) have been proposed as an attractive alternative to increase energy expenditure and are being investigated to determine their effectiveness against childhood obesity.

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Usability of Games and Gamification

In recent years, augmented reality (AR), especially markerless augmented reality (MAR), has been used more prevalently to create training games in an attempt to improve humans' cognitive functions. This has been driven by studies claiming that MAR provides users with more immersive experiences that are situated in the real world. Currently, no studies have scientifically investigated the immersion experience of users in a MAR cognitive training game. Moreover, there is an observed lack of instruments on measuring immersion in MAR cognitive training games.

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Serious Games for Education

Sexual education has become increasingly important as unhealthy sexual practices and subsequent health risks become more prevalent during adolescence. Traditional sex education teaching methodologies are limiting for digital natives exposed to various digital technologies. Harnessing the power of technology applications attractive to the younger generation may be a useful approach for teaching sex education.

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Games for Medical Education and Training

Although the proper use of hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE) is paramount for preventing the spread of diseases such as COVID-19, health care personnel have been shown to use incorrect techniques for donning/doffing of PPE and hand hygiene, leading to a large number of infections among health professionals. Education and training are difficult owing to the social distancing restrictions in place, shortages of PPE and testing material, and lack of evidence on optimal training. Virtual reality (VR) simulation can offer a multisensory, 3-D, fully immersive, and safe training opportunity that addresses these obstacles.

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Serious Games for Health and Medicine

Approximately 10%-12% of New Zealand children and young people have long-term physical conditions (chronic illnesses) and are more likely to develop psychological problems, particularly anxiety and depression. Delayed treatment leads to worse health care and poorer long-term outcomes. Recently, eHealth interventions, especially those based on principles of cognitive behavioral therapy and biofeedback, have been shown to be moderately effective in reducing anxiety. However, these modalities have rarely been combined. Young people have expressed a preference for well-designed and technology-based support to deal with psychological issues.

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Games for Rehabilitation

Serious video games have now been used and assessed in clinical protocols, with several studies reporting patient improvement and engagement with this type of therapy. Even though some literature reviews have approached this topic from a game perspective and presented a broad overview of the types of video games that have been used in this context, there is still a need to better understand how different game characteristics and development strategies might impact and relate to clinical outcomes.

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Serious Games for Health and Medicine

Slow-paced breathing has been shown to be positively associated with psychological and physiological health. In practice, however, there is little long-term engagement with breathing training, as shown by the usage statistics of breathing training apps. New research suggests that gameful smartphone-delivered breathing training may address this challenge.

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Serious Games for Health and Medicine

Currently, children’s dietary intake patterns do not meet prescribed dietary guidelines. Consequently, childhood obesity is one of the most serious health concerns. Therefore, innovative methods need to be developed and tested in order to effectively improve the dietary intake of children. Teaching children how to cope with the overwhelming number of unhealthy food cues could be conducted effectively by serious health games.

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Serious Games for Health and Medicine

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) affects between 4% and 8% of children worldwide. The treatment of choice is multimodal treatment. Multimodal interventions for ADHD may be improved by incorporating new treatments, such as treatment via serious video games. The Secret Trail of Moon (TSTM) is a virtual reality serious video game that was designed for cognitive training related to core ADHD symptoms and executive dysfunction.

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Games for Medical Education and Training

In the health care environment, teamwork is paramount, especially when referring to patient safety. We are interested in recent and innovative solutions such as escape games, which is a type of adventure game that may be highly useful as an educational tool, potentially combining good communication skills with successful gamification. They involve teams of 5 to 10 individuals who are “locked” in the same room and must collaborate to solve puzzles while under pressure from a timer.

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Games for Rehabilitation

It has been noted in the literature that there is a gap between clinical assessment and real-world performance. Real-world conversations entail visual and audio information, yet there are not any audiological assessment tools that include visual information. Virtual reality (VR) technology has been applied to various areas, including audiology. However, the use of VR in speech-in-noise perception has not yet been investigated.

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Games for Rehabilitation

In Canada, only 11% of stroke survivors have access to outpatient and community-based rehabilitation after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. Hence, innovative community-based strategies are needed to provide adequate postrehabilitation services. The VirTele program, which combines virtual reality exergames and a telerehabilitation app, was developed to provide stroke survivors with residual upper extremity deficits, the opportunity to participate in a personalized home rehabilitation program.

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