The video game industry has become the largest media industry in the world, dwarfing even the movie and music industries. As such, video games are very present in the consciousness of American citizens. This makes them attractive to areas such as the field of medicine, which is always researching new and more effective ways to administer treatments to patients. This thesis examines all the research surrounding the use of video games as medicine, whether it be to treat a mental illness, physical ailment, or just for cognitive training, in an effort to determine if video games are effective as a treatment modality and determine the ideal way to introduce them into the field of medicine. Through an extensive literature review, this thesis determined that video games are, in fact, effective as treatments for various medical issues. Through an examination of the types of video games used in these studies, it was discovered that commercially-available video games are more common, as they are more attractive to doctors and researchers, offering an already existing, nearly endless pool of potential treatments. It was also concluded that the best way to introduce video games to medicine is by using them as a supplement to normal therapies and treatments, rather than as a standalone treatment.
Semester/Year of Award
Matthew P. Winslow
Mentor Department Affiliation
Open Access Thesis
Salyers, Grayson T., "Doctor Mario: How Video Games Are Being Used as Medicine" (2022). Honors Theses. 912.