Video Games, Virtual Reality and Health

StereoInMotion - Video Games Virtual Reality andHealth

In some entries of our social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn), and in other previous articles, we discussed the importance of entertainment education itself; usually called edutainment.

Basically, edutainment is the use of entertainment for the learning or development process of educational models.

In this area, for example, we can talk about video games or gamification processes applied to different levels and themes.

We are going to consider a number of questions about it through this post: Can video game technology be used for training or education of health professions? Are all kinds of “games” applicable? or even, is it convenient to do so?

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Under the experience of our advisory team on education and training in the health sector, we not only believe but also take into account -i.e. Anatomyou-, that applications used for medical training cannot be considered, configured or design “as a game”. This is to say, that they can’t pretend to be pure entertainment, in fact, they must be serious enough for the student or healthcare professional to consider them relevant and applicable to their daily clinical work. So in this sense, video game technology is applicable to the health professions as a technology or tool (computer graphics, deformation algorithms, expert systems, etc.) that, conveniently configured, catalyzes skills and the necessary knowledge for the performance of the health profession without appearing to be a video game.

Certainly, there can be some introduction to recreational or competition elements in the applications themselves, but always carefully framed and embedded in a well-designed teaching model for the acquisition or learning of concepts and skills needed in the health practice.

An example of this type of technology is virtual reality, which has had a strong appreciation within the gamers community and has rapidly been used in the sector as an asset to the game itself; consider, for example, the latest innovations from PlayStation.

However, as we previously mentioned, the use of emerging technologies is not immediate in the health sector and even more if these are linked to games or entertainment. A good software package of the final product is a must to achieve success in the industry, excluding this association with the game.

In conclusion, gamification can be applied to health or healthcare environments as long as it always maintains a proper format so that its value is not underestimated and holds the formalism and functionality necessary for final use; the patient.


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