Using Video Games to TREAT Addiction & Other Health Issues

by Victoria Jesswein published 2022/11/12 09:27:53 GMT-7, last modified 2022-11-12T09:27:53-07:00
If you search for video games and addiction, you will be drowned with "video game addiction treatment centers" to treat "addiction to video games", etc. You have to wade through pages and pages of results to find the real research showing that healthy balanced use of video games can be a valuable and powerful tool to treat many ailments, potentially even other addictions...

I've written before about using video games to help target a number of disabilities and challenges from brain injuries to other issues.

Of course most Recreation Therapists poo-poo anything with a screen, though younger Therapeutic Recreation Specialists are more open minded. And video games have been readily adopted in Physical Therapy rehabilitation facilities, especially the Wii full range of motion.

And of course as a Recreation Therapist, we all understand the power of recreation and games to help facilitate recovery, health, and wellness, and making otherwise unpleasant exercises fun, to help achieve client therapeutic and educational goals!

I wanted to quickly put together a few links on this page about research into using video games FOR treatment (rather than treatment for video games), including substance dependency.

 I have mentioned many times the game "Life is Strange", and how it is an excellent game for pre-teen/young-teen females (and potentially males though not the target audience), using a Choose Your Own Adventure like approach, but you can re-choose (to a limited extent) if you don't like the results.

And of course I've spoken at length about the benefits of bio and neuro feedback linked with video games, and my acquisition of bio and neuro feedback & monitoring EEG equipment.

Generally I have kept the focus to RPG-based video games, but for this page I am going with any video game format.

From these video game results of various games, consider then the added complexity of role-playing style games and the additional layers of potential benefits added from targeted and responsible participation in the activities.

This was just a quick 15 minute search (mostly skipping the aforementioned white noise) using the terms:

  • addiction recovery video game
  • video game for drug rehabilitation

Here are some of the results I found of interest. I have not had a chance to read most of them, I have only skimmed them so far. I hope to delve in more deeply soon however...




Some caveats:





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