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Patients who suffer from chronic pain may reach for the mouse and keyboard instead of the medicine cabinet

Even though researchers have increased focus on video games for a variety of research projects, very few of the endeavors have yielded astonishing results.

A researcher working at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada claims playing video games could be more effective than using certain drugs when treating chronic pain sufferers.  During controlled experiments, professor Diane Gromala reported that participants who played virtual reality games were more comfortable than participants who on pain medication only.

"Controlling pain through computerized VR and biofeedback meditation therapies has the promise of providing successful, cost-effective alternatives to pain medications," she said in a statement.  

As founder of the university's BioMedia Lab, Gromala believes there is a "real demand" for the technology.  Gromala adds, "As Canada's baby-boomers enter old age, pain management looms as a huge public-health issue."

Patients enrolled in programs to treat chronic pain typically endure physical therapy, counseling sessions and prescription pain-killers. Often, patients reject therapy rather than risk addiction to pain medication.

This isn't the first time game technology has been included for the general health of players.  Although playing games on the Nintendo Wii doesn't technically count towards the one hour of exercise children should receive per day, the console still has become a hit in rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes.

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RE: Alternatives?
By lompocus on 1/2/2008 5:56:30 PM , Rating: 1
Computer games have you in the action. Besides, they're fun.

You're reading a book. "Oh, I wish I could just jump in and kill everyone". Well, you CAN, and see the outcome of it in a video game.

RE: Alternatives?
By xsilver on 1/2/2008 6:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
I dont know If I'd want to jump in and kill everyone when im reading the cat in the hat ;)

However I have wanted to jump in an kill everyone in many "need for speed" games (because they are so crap)
but guess what? you cant! You can only do what the game designers have let you do; much like a hamster and a wheel.

I was just making the point that there are other activities which can have just as good an effect no?

RE: Alternatives?
By amanojaku on 1/2/2008 8:31:25 PM , Rating: 5
I dont know If I'd want to jump in and kill everyone when im reading the cat in the hat ;)

I don't know... Thing 1 and Thing 2 are kind of asking for it...

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