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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 Wagnbat on 1/2/2008 7:10:23 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Did it really have to be computer games?
Why not run it against TV or a good book?
wont that have the same effect?


No, I don't think it has to be... Not if you have a good imagination. But there-in lies the difference. While you could easily get lost in a good book, could you do so while your body was in pain or otherwise under duress?

Video games nowadays are very stim ulating (as can be TV or a good book) as well as sim ulating... Creating content for you to immerse yourself in and not having to 'imagine' it. It is also interactive which gets you involved, and if it's a good game, could make you forget everything else during the session.

So yeah, it could be the same effect as TV or books for some... But I think overall, the benefit of computer games would be more widespread with regards to the benefits of immersion than reading or watching the boob toob.


RE: Alternatives?
By Ringold on 1/2/2008 7:34:21 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Video games nowadays are very stim ulating


I think the Terran Marine knew all this almost a decade ago:

"Aaahh, that's the stuff! ... Jacked up and good to go!"


RE: Alternatives?
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 1/3/2008 8:13:19 AM , Rating: 3
Ah, those were the days. "Fire it up!"


RE: Alternatives?
By Polynikes on 1/3/2008 12:15:12 PM , Rating: 2
"En Taro Adun."


RE: Alternatives?
By DASQ on 1/4/2008 1:00:39 AM , Rating: 2
What do you mean "those were the days"??

I still play StarCraft on Battlenet!


RE: Alternatives?
By Moritz on 1/7/2008 7:11:47 PM , Rating: 2
"For Aiur"


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