Video games assist health discipline

Oct. 21, 2006 at 5:07 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) -- Video games can help improve children's health in various ways, such as helping them stay on their cancer treatment regimens, a report says.

The Washington Post said Saturday one game has already started to produce measurable results. The game, Re-Mission by HopeLab, a Palo Alto, Calif., non-profit organization, features a microscopic "nanobot" named Roxxi, a shapely brunette who, with the player's direction, travels through the body aggressively blasting away at cancer cells.

A trial of 375 cancer patients, all young adults aged 13 to 29, showed that those who played the Re-Mission game adhered to their treatment protocol more closely and maintained higher levels of the treatment drugs in their blood, the report said. They also showed an ability to better understand their disease and they showed more confidence that they could beat it.

"It is stealth learning," Steve Cole, vice president for research at HopeLab told the Post. "The things that happen inside the game don't stay in the game; they get in your head, and they change the way you approach the world."

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