I recently spoke to a pioneer in health gaming, who explained to me that there are four types of health games:
+exergames: think of the Nintendo Wii, where you are actually required to work out in order to play certain games
+condition management: games that help a person learn more about a condition and even, perhaps, that add a dimension of fun to the monotony of treatment (examples: Re-Mission, which I have not played, looks to be an intriguing game for young people with cancer; Bayer recently released DIDGET, which rewards user with points and game access codes, after it verifies successful glucose management through a plug-in monitoring system)
+training games: simulations for health professionals, for instance
+nutrition games: similar to condition management games in terms of its educational and behavioral management aspects
We all know that many people learn through visual and/or interactive methods. That’s one reason we should expect health gaming to be increasingly important in future public health efforts. And, games are almost universally appealing: expect the phenomenon to go global.