Videogames vs. Vicodin?

Pac Man loves his pillsAnd now more from the good guys.

According to a study conducted by a Simon Fraser University professor in Vancouver, Canada, videogames serve as an effective treatment for chronic pain. Diane Gromala’s experiments have shown that subjects involved in immersive virtual reality settings are less likely to report pain than those subjects under medicinal pain treatment. The type of "distraction" used in this study was a 3D skiing simulation, but it is assumed that any captivating videogame experience will work in much the same way.

"There is a real demand for this kind of therapy," said Gromala. "As Canada’s baby-boomers enter old age, pain management looms as a huge public-health issue."

"Controlling pain through computerized VR and biofeedback meditation therapies has the promise of providing successful, cost-effective alternatives to pain medications," she added.

Developing a videogame-based pain treatment regimen would be great, and could cut out much of the expense of healthcare, but would patients have to be glued to the screen in order to get relief? What I’d like to know is if there is a certain level of sustained euphoria experienced after play sessions are over, and how long those periods can last.


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Author: Eddie Inzauto View all posts by
Eddie has been writing about games on the interwebz for over ten years. You can find him Editor-in-Chiefing around these parts, or talking nonsense on Twitter @eddieinzauto.

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