Games Improving Disorders of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity

Games Improving Disorders of Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity

Andreia Espírito Santo (Computer Science and Communication Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal), Rui Rijo (Computer Science and Communication Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal & Institute for Systems and Computers Engineering at Coimbra, Portugal), João Monteiro (Computer Science and Communication Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal), Inês Henriques (Computer Science and Communication Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal), Ana Matos (Computer Science and Communication Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal), Carina Rito (Computer Science and Communication Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal), Paulo Costa (Serviço de Pediatria do Hospital de Santo André, Portugal) and Luís Marcelino (Computer Science and Communication Research Centre, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Portugal)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 15
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4502-8.ch033
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Abstract

In Portugal, there are between 35 000 to 75 000 children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The need to act prominently in children with these disorders suggests the creation of various serious games that can be executed with a computer, aiding affected children and assisting health professionals. This chapter presents two games that intend to help children to improve their capacity to speed information processing, enhance executive functions, and enhance use of working memory by performing a set of exercises presented in the form of educational games. It also enables the assisting physician to monitor the execution of these exercises. With the completion of the tasks of the games, children may, in an appealing way, improve their skills and thereby overcome their difficulties. This chapter presents the research methodology followed to the creation of the games, and the preliminary promising tests. Future research directions are also discussed.
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Games, Technological Games, And Serious Games

This section does a brief introduction about games key concepts, technological games, and serious games. It begins with the structural elements existing in all the games and the interaction patterns that a player may have when gaming. Those elements and the interaction patterns are the basis of the games developed and presented in this work. It is then pointed the relevance of playing in the development of the human being. Technological games, and their distinguishable aspects, are discussed. Finally serious games are presented.

There is considerable difficulty in determining the origin of many games, because games have been around a long time, and people didn't maintain records about something considered as inconsequential as games. It is taken for granted that games have been perpetuated by civilization to amuse and to entertain. Nonetheless, some people may have also consciously used games for other purposes, such as education or treatment of illness.

Certain structural elements are common to all games, regardless of the differences in the nature of games, the purposes for which games are used, or the culture in which they are used. Avedon (1971) identified at least ten structural elements:

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