Posted on March 20, 2012, Ben Richardson Video Games Improve Health by Providing Positive Motivation
According to research published yesterday on SFGate.com (the website of the San Francisco Chronicle), video games might have an important new role in the fight against cancer. The study in question centers around a game called “Re-Mission,” which puts players in control of an tiny robot named Roxxi, who “travels through the bodies of fictional cancer patients, blasting away cancer cells and battling the side-effects of cancer and cancer treatments.”
Using a FMRI (Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine, researchers tested two groups — one which actually played Re-Mission, and another which watched footage of the game as if it were a movie. Playing the game, researchers found, “strongly activates brain circuits involved in positive motivation.” Moreover, according to study co-author Steve Cole, PhD, “active involvement in video game play sparks positive motivation in a way that watching and hearing information does not.”
How is this related to cancer treatment? Turns out that the positive motivation players get from games like Re-Mission “has helped boost players’ adherence to prescribed chemotherapy and antibiotic treatments.” Win!