"Games are where people live," says Health Games Research national program director, Debra Lieberman. "They can engage people in powerful ways and can motivate and support behavior change, especially when they are designed on the basis of well-researched strategies." Health Games Research, a national program of RWJF, is leading a diverse set of 21 studies that explore the tremendous potential of digital interactive games as tools to help people live healthier lives. From games that spur positive behavior change, like a mobile phone game for kids that rewards good health habits and food choices, to games that help patients and caregivers manage chronic disease, pain and other health challenges, such as a video game using breath biofeedback to improve self-administration of inhaled medicine for cystic fibrosis, these studies will provide the sound scientific evidence necessary to further effective innovation in health game development and use. Health Games Research is building the evidence base that will allow designers, providers, educators and game players to most effectively harness the power of interactive games to improve health.
As part of its Pioneer grant, Health Games Research has developed the most comprehensive database of health games and related publications, resources, conferences, and organizations.