Tech re-mission game cancer

Published on March 20th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria


Gaming Can Unlock Positive Impulses in Brain [Study]

re-mission game cancer

As the parent of a nearly-addicted 11-year-old gamer with little interest in schoolwork, I’ve always long suspected that the key to advancing learning in many kids is burying the knowledge deep in a video game with lots of challenging levels.

My own kid will spend an entire day battling the different parts of the game, grabbing my phone or computer to find and implement research he needs to advance in the title, never thinking of it as any sort of work. And it turns out that studies are revealing that gaming indeed has much potential to “[activate] brain circuits involved in positive motivation.” The research involves a cancer-fighting-based video game called “Re-Mission” (it took me a minute to get that one), and the results of the study were published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

A press release about the gaming study indicates patients who played the game adhered more closely to chemotherapy and antibiotic regimes during cancer treatment, and the release quotes a researcher:

“Identifying a direct connection between the stimulation of neural circuits and game play is a key step in unlocking the potential for game-based tools to inspire positive behavior and improve health,” said Brian Knutson, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience at Stanford University and co-author of the article.

Co-author Steve Cole, Ph.D. added:

“Active involvement in video game play sparks positive motivation in a way that watching and hearing information does not… All participants in the study received the same information. It was the active participation in gameplay that made the big difference in motivation. This study helps refine our ‘recipe for success’ in harnessing the power of play in the service of health.”

The full press release can be read here- but between getting us dates and helping sick patients get well, is there anything gaming can’t do this week?



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About the Author

Kim LaCapria is a writer and editor based in New York. A longtime information junkie, she began blogging full-time at the Inquisitr in 2009. Prior to that, she worked as a marketing assistant in the cosmetics and skincare industry. In addition to her writing for fortytwotimes, she also writes for Medacity and The Inquisitr. Kim is also a contributor for SocialNewsDaily, Indyposted, and TotallyMoney. In the past, she contributed to Lipstick and Luxury and managed social media accounts and blogs for several small and mid-sized businesses.

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