June 5, 2008
Medical benefits of Videogames probed wit an $8.2 million backing
The ills of videogame addiction has been well publicized but soon your doc could be advising you a game of Wii Fit to tackle your arthritis. $8.2 million are being pumped in to as many as 12 research teams to study and discover if there could really be any medical benefits from playing videogames. Can daily gameplay elevate depression? Cornell University is going to use Mindless Eating Challenge to see if it can be used to promote healthy eating habits in kids. University of Florida plans on using the funds to scrutinize how the visual attention skills of senior citizens can be improved by playing the Crazy Taxi videogame. The University of South Carolina Research Foundation will pit the Nintendo’s Wii against Sony’s Eye digicam to study mobility, balance and fear of falling in post-stroke sufferers. The funding comes from US healthcare center the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The RWJF has set aside a total of $8.2m (£4.1/€5.2) to help “strengthen the evidence that videogames can be used to improve players’ health behaviors and outcomes”.
FYI a study states that videogames can cause men to revert back to their caveman roots. Another report suggests that aggressive videogame titles, such as Grand Theft Auto IV, may actually help reduce the number of physical violent crimes committed.