Pervasive Health Games

Pervasive Health Games

Martin Knöll (University of Stuttgart, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-739-8.ch014
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Prevention and therapy of emerging lifestyle diseases are strongly linked to daily behavior, physical activity, and knowledge of healthy life. The potentials of serious game applications in a health context for user’s motivation, education, and therapy compliance is investigated and so far widely accepted. Pervasive Health Games (PHGs) combine pervasive computing technologies with serious game design strategies, in order to unfold user’s playground to the city and therefore to their everyday life. The following article presents the typology of PHG within Games for Health as an interdisciplinary working field consisting of health care, psychology, game design, sports science, and urban research. A brief introduction to the theme is illustrated with a conceptual “showcase,” a pervasive game concept for young diabetics.
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Serious Games Are About To Leave Their Electronic Shells...

In order to develop mechanism and strategies to re-use our cities, the cultural technique of serious games comes into play. The “Serious Games Initiative” founded by the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars has defined the term “serious game” as “digital games with non-entertainment purposes such as health care, security, management or learning” in 2002. Since 2004 the sub-group “Games for Health” focuses on “the impact games and game technologies can have on health care and policy” (“Games for Health - About,” n.d., Welcome section). 2 Current trends include video games for rehabilitation and therapy issues and the emerging field of “Exergaming,” motivating players for more physical activity.

Considering the increase of chronic diseases and prevention projects, we seek for game design strategies, which integrate the game play into the everyday life of its players. A new generation of computer games, called “Serious Pervasive Games” therefore overlay the physical space with a virtual game zone. According to Borries, Walz, & Böttger, (2006):

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