Games for Health

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Games for Health is a website that looked like it would be interesting to me. They just received funding for The Serious Games Initiative to encourage the creation of games that promote good health. Sounds like something that I would think was cool, right?

Then I saw their list of games…

They had a selection of simulation games with names like Laser Surgeon, Life and Death (I and II), Combat Medic and 911 Paramedia. Then there were a collection of health related games and SIMS such as SIM Health, Epidemic, Captain Novolin (diabetes management), and Rex Ronan (smoking cessation).

I’m sure Bronkie the Bronchiasaurus is really helpful in teaching young children with asthma which irritants to avoid, but it doesn’t teach them the most important thing when you have asthma: how to calm an asthma attack. It also doesn’t teach them how to stop hiccups so they won’t initiate an attack.

More disturbing is the idea of surgery games. Can you imagine the terror? “Hello, I’m Doctor Longbourne. I will be doing your procedure today. Don’t worry. I got 25000 on Life and Death II yesterday, so I should have no problem with your gallbladder.” I’m sure they’re great for training and every doctor has to have a first surgery at some time, but this website brought that to my attention in ways that made me feel fidgety and scared.

I was hoping for Mountain Biker Odyssey where I could ride my stationary exercise bike through beautiful mountains, avoiding rocks and trying not to drop my rider on her head. Instead, I got AIDS Avenger. I realize the industry is young. It’s just that I can visualize it so clearly that I want it to exist already.


One Response to “Games for Health”

  1. Sinistar Says:

    Keep in mind, however, that it is an offshoot of Serious Games. Their focus has always been on using games to train professional skills. So, in creating Games For Health, I think they just went into their list of games for training and picked the ones related in any way to the health industry.

    As exergaming picks up, I’m sure the list will start looking a little better.

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