Do Augmented Reality Games Offer Real Health Benefits?

Enter the Era of Augmented Reality Games.

The first real commercial application for augmented reality is of course, no supprise a video game. Pokemon Go, is a smart phone based game that uses the camera to create a version of augmented reality.

The combination of augmented reality technology, geocaching, and other novel techniques to create innovative active video games (AVGs) has potential personal and public health implications, as discussed in the Editorial “Pokémon Go, Go, Go, Gone?” published in Games for Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Games for Health Journal breaks new ground as the first journal to address this emerging and increasingly important area of health care. The Journal provides a bimonthly forum in print and online for academic and clinical researchers, game designers and developers, health care providers, insurers, and information technology leaders. Articles explore the use of game technology in a variety of clinical applications. These include disease prevention and monitoring, nutrition, weight management, and medication adherence. Gaming can play an important role in the care of patients with diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's disease, and cognitive, mental, emotional, and behavioral health disorders.

Games for Health Journal breaks new ground as the first journal to address this emerging and increasingly important area of health care. The Journal provides a bimonthly forum in print and online for academic and clinical researchers, game designers and developers, health care providers, insurers, and information technology leaders. Articles explore the use of game technology in a variety of clinical applications. These include disease prevention and monitoring, nutrition, weight management, and medication adherence. Gaming can play an important role in the care of patients with diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive, mental, emotional, and behavioral health disorders.

In the Editorial, Editor-in-Chief Tom Baranowski, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, identifies many lessons that can be learned from the success of the popular AVG Pokémon Go™, in which players can log hours of walking as they physically chase the animated Pokémon creatures based on video images displayed on their smart phones. Dr. Baranowski encourages researchers to conduct well-designed studies to assess the health effects of AVGs. Game developers could then use this information to create new games that would be both fun to play and promote beneficial physical activity.

“Pokémon Go™ stimulated substantial amounts of physical activity in many likely-otherwise sedentary game players without intending to! We might call this stealth exergame programming, and we have a lot to learn about how to achieve this!” says Dr. Baranowski.

The article is available free on the Games for Health Journal website until September 19, 2016.

Source

CREDIT ©Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers