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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Video game playing is a popular leisure activity for many people across the world. Despite some of the negative publicity and empirical research highlighting the more negative aspects of playing video games, there is also a large literature demonstrating the therapeutic capacity that video game playing can have. This chapter briefly examines a number of therapeutic uses of video games, including: (i) cognitive remediation, (ii) distractors in the role of pain management, (iii) physiotherapy and occupational therapy, (iv) the development of social and communication skills among the learning disabled, (v) psychotherapeutic settings, (vi) health compliance, (vii) stress, anxiety, and emotional regulation, and (viii) physical activity using “exergames.” It is clear from the studies outlined that in the right context, video games can have a positive therapeutic benefit to a large range of different sub-groups. There has been considerable success when games are specifically designed to address a specific problem or to teach a certain skill. However, generalizability outside the game-playing situations remains an important consideration.

Keywords: Video games, video game therapy, exergaming, cognitive remediation, health compliance, psychotherapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, emotional regulation

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