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 3.53

JMIR Serious Games (JSG, ISSN 2291-9279; Impact Factor: 3.53) 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 2020, JSG received an impact factor of 3.53. JSG has also been accepted for indexing in PsycINFO.

Recent Articles

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Serious Games for Health and Medicine

The aging population is one of the major challenges affecting societies worldwide. As the proportion of older people grows dramatically, so does the number of age-related illnesses such as dementia-related illnesses. Preventive care should be emphasized as an effective tool to combat and manage this situation.

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Serious Games for Health and Medicine

Early detection of developmental disabilities in children is essential because early intervention can improve the prognosis of children. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence has indicated a relationship between developmental disability and motor skill, and thus, motor skill is considered in the early diagnosis of developmental disability. However, there are challenges to assessing motor skill in the diagnosis of developmental disorder, such as a lack of specialists and time constraints, and thus it is commonly conducted through informal questions or surveys to parents.

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Usability of Games and Gamification

Digital technologies have expanded the options for delivering psychotherapy, permitting for example, the treatment of schizophrenia using Avatar Therapy. Despite its considerable potential, this treatment method has not been widely disseminated. As a result, its operability and functionality remain largely unknown.

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Usability of Games and Gamification

Specific learning difficulties (SpLD) include several disorders such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, and the children with these SpLD receive special education. However, the studies and the educational material so far focus mainly on one specific disorder.

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Exergames, Active Games and Gamification of Physical Activity

In affective exergames, game difficulty is dynamically adjusted to match the user’s physical and psychological state. Such an adjustment is commonly made based on a combination of performance measures (eg, in-game scores) and physiological measurements, which provide insight into the player’s psychological state. However, although many prototypes of affective games have been presented and many studies have shown that physiological measurements allow more accurate classification of the player’s psychological state than performance measures, few studies have examined whether dynamic difficulty adjustment (DDA) based on physiological measurements (which requires additional sensors) results in a better user experience than performance-based DDA or manual difficulty adjustment.

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User Needs Assessment for Games

The number of older adult gamers who play mobile games is growing worldwide. Earlier studies have reported that digital games provide cognitive, physical, and socioemotional benefits for older adults. However, current mobile games that understand older adults’ gameplay experience and reflect their needs are very scarce. Furthermore, studies that have analyzed older adults’ game experience in a holistic manner are rare.

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Games for Cognitive Assessment

Cognitive tasks designed to measure or train cognition are often repetitive and presented in a monotonous manner, features that lead to participant boredom and disengagement. In this situation, participants do not put forth their best effort to do these tasks well. As a result, neuropsychologists cannot draw accurate conclusions about the data collected, and intervention effects are reduced. It is assumed that greater engagement and motivation will manifest as improved data quality. Gamification, the use of game elements in nongame settings, has been heralded as a potential mechanism for increasing participant engagement in cognitive tasks. Some studies have reported a positive effect of gamification on participant performance, although most studies have shown mixed results. One reason for these contrasting findings is that most studies have applied poor and heterogeneous design techniques to gamify cognitive tasks. Therefore, an appropriate gamification design framework is needed in these tasks.

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Formative Evaluation and Development of Games

Inflammatory arthritides (IA) such as rheumatoid arthritis or psoriatic arthritis are disorders that can be difficult to comprehend for health professionals and students in terms of the heterogeneity of clinical symptoms and pathologies. New didactic approaches using innovative technologies such as virtual reality (VR) apps could be helpful to demonstrate disease manifestations as well as joint pathologies in a more comprehensive manner. However, the potential of using a VR education concept in IA has not yet been evaluated.

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Game Addiction and Other Unintended Consequences

School closures during the COVID-19 pandemic may have exacerbated students’ loneliness, addictive gaming behaviors, and poor mental health. These mental health issues confronting young people are of public concern.

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Serious Games for Health and Medicine

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. Patients with MS experience a wide range of physical and cognitive dysfunctions that affect their quality of life. A promising training approach that concurrently trains physical and cognitive functions is video game–based physical exercising (ie, exergaming). Previous studies have indicated that exergames have positive effects on balance and cognitive functions in patients with MS. However, there is still a need for specific, user-centered exergames that function as a motivating and effective therapy tool for patients with MS and studies investigating their usability and feasibility.

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Serious Games for Education

Serious games can be a powerful learning tool in higher education. However, the literature indicates that the learning outcome in a serious game depends on the facilitators’ competencies. Although professional facilitators in commercial game-based training have undergone specific instruction, facilitators in higher education cannot rely on such formal instruction, as game facilitation is only an occasional part of their teaching activities.

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Gamification

The proportion of smokers making quit attempts and the proportion of smokers successfully quitting have been decreasing over the past few years. Previous studies have shown that smokers with high self-efficacy and motivation to quit have an increased likelihood of quitting and staying quit. Consequently, further research on strategies that can improve the self-efficacy and motivation of smokers seeking to quit could lead to substantially higher cessation rates. Some studies have found that gamification can positively impact the cognitive components of behavioral change, including self-efficacy and motivation. However, the impact of gamification in the context of smoking cessation and mobile health has been sparsely investigated.

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