A prescription for video games?

July 16, 2008 7:32:45 AM PDT
Most of us use them for fun and relaxation. But lately there has been a lot of serious research into whether video games can be a useful tool for medical purposes. While a prescription for video games may not be in our immediate future, some scientists are exploring the idea that video games improve your health. For years, scientists have been wondering whether such games can be used to improve a patient's health or outlook. Much of that work has been done with small studies. However there are more recent studies that may take a look at a larger chunk of the population in an effort to draw stronger conclusions.

For example, East Carolina University will see whether sickle cell anemia patients can control stress and reduce pain by using video games. The study will be held in a clinical center operated by the National Institutes of Health.

So far, the video game industry has been unsure of what to make of such research, focusing instead on the enjoyment aspect of game design.