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Games For Health 2010

Games For Health 2010It’s time for the 6th annual Games for Health conference. The conference, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides a forum for experts in the fields of video games, healthcare, and science to come together and share the latest and greatest in health-related video game news and research.

From their promotional pamphlet:

Because digital games can actively engage and challenge people of all ages, they have the ability to help individuals manage chronic illnesses, support physical rehabilitation, pursue wellness goals and contribute to changes in health behaviors. Public health leaders, doctors and nurses, rehabilitation specialists, emergency first responders and other health professionals are also using games and game technologies to advance their skills and enhance how they deliver care and services. Games are even beginning to mine the wisdom of the crowds to forge critical new discoveries in biology and genomics.

The acceptance of games as a valuable health management and training method, the popular success of consoles like the Nintendo Wii, and the growth of smartphone game applications indicate that there is tremendous potential for continuing to move health and behavior change activities beyond clinical settings and the classroom and into consumers’ home, work, social and recreational spaces.

We’ll be reporting throughout the event (May 25-27). Stay tuned for info on the PS3 Move, a Wii laparoscopic trainer, and more.

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Brain Size Does Matter: When It Comes To Video Games

To the delight of video game enthusiasts, a new study coming out of MIT has discovered a relationship between the size of certain structures in the brain and the ability to perform in video games. The researchers analyzed the size of specific brain regions of the participants using high-resolution MRI. They then had participants play Space Fortress, (pictured) a game that makes Asteroids look like a technological marvel.

Here is more from the press release:

Half of the study participants were asked to focus on maximizing their overall score in a video game while paying equal attention to the various components of the game. The other participants had to periodically shift priorities, improving their skills in one area for a period of time while also maximizing their success at the other tasks. The latter approach, called “variable priority training,” encourages the kind of flexibility in decision-making that is commonly required in daily life, according to Kramer. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

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