Serious games are games where game’s main purpose is something more than pure entertainment. Health games are a branch of Serious games. Where games and healthcare meets, happens interesting things! Games for health targets in side of playing entertaining game to get players to learn something about certain health issues, learn skills how to cope with certain disease or even improve patient’s state or condition.
Health Games can be divided in categories of wellness games and medical games. Medical games are more targeted in influencing on particular disease or condition. With medical games it is also important to be able to show actual effects what game has through clinical trials and research. Examples of medical games are
mental health games, like Sparx , which aims to teach young people with depression how to manage and overcome their condition.
physical rehabilitation games, like prototype of Stroke Kinect, targeted on improving patient’s condition through training and feedback.
Health Games are
- a way to motivate patients to do their rehabilitation
- making it possible to reach more patients and their families
- a media to learn more about certain disease and it’s treatment
- future alternative for preventive health care
Developing Health Games
To develop effective and working Health Games a multidisciplinary team is needed. Besides game development skills the team should have health care or medical knowledge and business thinking. Markets and the need for health games are global – games should be targeted to wide audience considering localization, law restrictions and different kind of monetization models.