Researcher: Video Games Possibly More Analgetic Than Drugs
January 2, 2008 4:58 PM
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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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1/3/2008 9:08:14 PM
Did anyone else read this article and say "Well, DUH!" I know I sure did.
The results of this study were not news to me. When I broke my leg at the age of 6-7 years old, my parents brought our Atari to the hospital and hooked it up to the TV there so that my roommate and I could play on it.
He had been burned to a crisp in a fire, was much worse off than me, and he said that playing those games kept him mind off the pain he was going through and alleviated the pain more than the morphine they were giving him.
Books, websites, etc.: anything that takes your mind off the pain that your body is going through and makes you basically ignore some of the pain is good!
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