Serious Games for Physical Rehabilitation: Aesthetic discrepancies between custom-made serious games and commercial titles used for healthcare

Abstract

Serious games are videogames that are used with purposes that go beyond the mere entertainment of the player. Among their many applications, healthcare is one of the most prominent ones, as serious games can have a wide range of uses within this field, namely physical rehabilitation of patients. For this purpose, both custom-made serious games and commercial entertainment titles, such as those for Nintendo Wii, can be used. However, while custom-made serious games appear to be more clinically effective, patients seem to prefer the gaming experience of playing a commercial title. This paper aims to compare the game goals and the aesthetics of Wii Sports (a commercial title used in the context of physical rehabilitation) with custom-made serious games that have obtained clinically significant results in upper limb rehabilitation, in order to try and understand what can be done to bridge the gap between these two approaches

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