When a person plays a video game, it requires concentration and cognitive effort. A new movement is emerging according to which video games can be integrated into the treatment processes of people suffering from mental pathologies for example. This is what theorists have called "cyber therapy"

What is “cyber therapy”?

Cybertherapy can be defined as: “the use of virtual reality techniques in the field of medicine (anesthesia, treatment of phobias). In other words, it is the use of existing democratized technologies, such as video games, which can have a beneficial effect on the various pathologies of people. Generally, when we think of video games, we are referring to the entertainment of the players but it also requires other more transversal skills. Most importantly, video games are also an opportunity to play together.

Bradley University conducted a study on the use of video games in certain treatments and it was found that video games allow patients to feel “free from the normal day-to-day pressures.” When a person is playing a video game, they are so focused on what they are doing that you could crudely call it a “bubble” around the player because the game requires their full attention. Assuming that gaming is a way to escape and forget about the problems of real life, it is easy to see how it can also be used to treat various disorders.

Video games can also be used for degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. It is possible to help patients through the use of “serious games”. With regard to Alzheimer’s disease, one of the examples of video games used in the treatment of the disease is the video game X-Torp. This game helps to fight the disease in its early stages but also to measure its evolution.
The game consists of a multiplayer naval battle. This allows the patient to think and thus stimulate his brain but also to play with other individuals and thus maintain a social activity. This game is a real success because it has been clinically validated. Indeed, in a study conducted by the University Hospital of Nice during 18 months and on 18 patients. The study shows an “improvement of the physical, cognitive and motor performances of the patient”.

Source : https://www.curapy.com/jeux/x-torp/

There are also other therapeutic video games, notably one that is specialized in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease: Toap Run21. This game will help treat walking and balance disorders. Here, no naval battles but the player embodies a small animal in a colorful 3D universe that must perform movements in order to pass stages. “The movements will allow the patient to progress and gain in amplitude and thus improve the movement of walking.
This video game is a real medical device because it complies with the European Medical Device Regulation of Directive 93/42/EEC, just like X-TORP. This project has won many prizes, which allows it to be financed, to have many partners, especially in the medical field, such as the Brain and Spinal Cord Institute or the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital.

Source : https://www.curapy.com/jeux/toap-run/

A propos de Lucas GUIBERT