Did You Know Video Games Can Heal the Sick?

Games both video and computer have been for years looked down on as evil and a negative influence on society. However, recent research indicates that games play a significant role in healing. Studies indicate that playing games helps divert a patient’s mind from pain and for many patients, games are a form of physiotherapy as they exercise the fingers and muscles of the arms and oil the wheels of the mind. In fact, children suffering from autism learn a great many social skills from games they play.

Mark Griffiths, of Nottingham Trent University, has conducted in depth studies on gaming and found that “gaming can be a useful tool in healthcare, games can distract kids and adults undergoing painful treatments.” In fact children undergoing chemotherapy for diseases like sickle cell anemia deal with the disease better when they play games that absorb their attention completely Arkadium Games . Sick children who occupied their minds playing video or computer games required lower doses of pain medication and tended to suffer less from hypertension and nausea than children who were asked to just rest. According to Griffiths an expert in the field, games benefit children suffering from attention deficit disorders too.

A conference on gaming showcased the fact that computer and video games promoted awareness in nutrition, lifestyle choices, and medical skills. According to experts, games helped reduce stress and healed people with phobias, diabetes, asthma, and cardiac diseases.

Games did not just promote anger and aggression but improved co-ordination skills, focus, and concentration, and steadied elevated blood pressure and pulse beating. Games are now playing a definitive role in therapy. Some games introduce images or stimulus to the mind like aromas or natural happenings like a river flowing or an avalanche. Many studies are focusing on “The state of Cognitive Exercise with digital Game Play,” where the use of games in treating diseases like Alzheimer is being addressed.

That gaming is recognized as a healer by medical communities across the US is established by the fact that the “Get-Well Gamers Foundation” collects unused games and consoles from avid gamers for distribution to children’s wards at hospitals across the US.

The new regimen in healing is to combine exercises with gaming. For example a patient who needs to be motivated to complete therapy sessions can be induced by connecting the bicycle to a video game that engages the patient’s mind. Ciprian Docan of Rutgers University has modified a home video game to assist stroke patients with hand movements and exercises.

Work by Karen Grimmer and her team in Adelaide Women and Children’s hospital showed that children suffering from severe burns feel less pain and discomfort when their minds are completely immersed in a virtual reality game. Games therefore served as appositive healing tool and helped children overcome great pan and discomfort.

Online games – spoken casually or formally – normally refer to video games that are played on a computer using an Internet connection. There are video games that are played online using devices such as video consoles (Playstation, X-Box) and mobile phones, but online games generally mean PC games that can be played only when you are connected to the Internet. These games kicked off in the 1980s even as Internet connectivity was slow and expensive. The earliest versions of these games were simple multiplayer text-based games. In the 1990s these games started getting popular, and today they feature high-end graphics, virtual communities, and lots more.

Types Of Online Games

Online games can be of the following types – (1) First-person shooters: Here the players battle with each other head-to-head. In most first-person shooters games, there are online components that allow deathmatch/arena style play. In these games the view you see in the gameplay is the one seen from your character’s eyes. (2) Real-time strategy games: These are games where you have to develop a combat strategy or gameplan by building resources and making a strong army so that you are able to fight with other Internet players. (3) Browser games: These are simple, small, and quick pastime games that can be played on your browser. They are developed using the popular Shockwave or Java technologies. (4) Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): These are online games that can support thousands of players from all over the world simultaneously, playing with or against each other in a giant virtual world and also interacting with each other. Here a person has to keep leveling up till he reaches the maximum possible level written for the game. These games can keep a gamer engaged for months or even years!

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