Can games have positive effects on young people's lives?

Researchers from Birmingham City University and Birmingham Children's Hospital are exploring how computer games and game based learning can be applied in the healthcare sector in a bid to boost young people's understandings of medical conditions that they may be living with and how to best to care for themselves.

Thanks to contemporary improvements in healthcare, children diagnosed with long term are now more likely to live a longer and healthier life. The research between the two institutions is exploring how game based learning could be used to encourage to learn about and actively participate in acquiring necessary skills in order to maintain their care as they grow older and become increasingly more independent as adults.

Andrew Wilson, researcher and senior lecturer at Birmingham City University's Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment, said: "The research into game based learning looks at how the processes and mechanics used in games, such as feedback and rewards and measurement of progress and achievement, could be used to help encourage young people to get involved in understanding their condition and the effects it has on their body, as well as improving their understanding of how to better take care of themselves."

Andrew, along with Janet McDonagh, a consultant and advocate of adolescent centred care at Birmingham Children's Hospital, have acknowledged that there are many important factors to be taken into consideration when developing game based learning for young people who are dealing with long term health issues, particularly actively involving them in the decision processes that are associated with creating the games.

The team recently presented their work at the European Conference on Game Based Learning in Portugal. They hope that by raising awareness of their research into the use of games in the management of young people's healthcare, it will provide an insight to a wider audience of how games can be used for positive benefits on young people and their health rather than be seen to be a negative influence on their lives.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Age changes how young children read social cues

Nov 15, 2013

From infancy, children learn by watching and imitating adults. Even when adults show them how to open a latch or solve a puzzle, for example, children use social cues to figure out what actions are important. ...

Children evaluate educational games

Sep 17, 2012

Is it possible to create suitable and amusing educational computer games? Can you use qualities from other types of games? And what do the children really think of these kinds of games? Wolmet Barendregt ...

Recommended for you

Intervention program helps prevent high-school dropouts

15 hours ago

New research findings from a team of prevention scientists at Arizona State University demonstrates that a family-focused intervention program for middle-school Mexican American children leads to fewer drop-out rates and ...

Bilingualism over the lifespan

17 hours ago

It's a scene that plays out every day in Montreal. On the bus, in schools, in the office and at home, conversations weave seamlessly back and forth between French and English, or one of the many other languages represented ...

User comments