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Games like Pokemon Go can be therapeutic tools, according to Child’s Play program director

Games like Pokemon Go can be therapeutic tools, according to Child’s Play program director

Games such as Pokemon Go, Super Mario 3D World and Dragon Quest Builders can all be used as therapeutic tools, according to Child’s Play program director Erick Blandin.

These titles were part of Blandin’s session on how video games can be used as therapeutic tools at the Games Connect Asia Pacific 2019 event held in Melbourne, Australia.

Games evoke emotion, with these three highlighted as strong proponents for happiness.

Games were cited as a good choice for therapy because they are controllable situations. On top of this, they help with immersion - therefore users are thinking less about their body - while being fun and engaging, which contributes to compliance.

Created in 2003, the Child’s Play charity looks to improve the lives of children through the use of toys and games, with over a network of 100 hospitals across the globe.

Escapism

“Escape is good from whatever issues you might be having but hiding from the real world through playing games at the exclusion of social interaction or work-life is not,” said Blandin.

“Balance is definitely important. Understand that balance and working with someone to help you manage that is great.”

Several examples were given for how developers can help to make their games more therapeutic:

  • Make it fun
  • Talk to professionals in the field you want to target
  • Read books or listen to podcasts
  • Don’t worry about it too much

Anyone looking for further information can contact Blandin via his email at eblandin@childsplaycharity.org or visit the Child’s Play website.

You can keep up-to-date with all of our coverage of Melbourne International Games Week 2019 right here.


Staff Writer

Matthew Forde is the staff writer for PocketGamer.biz and also a member of the Pocket Gamer Podcast. You can find him on Twitter @Forde999 talking about Smash Bros. and everything pop culture related - particularly superheroes.

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