Lovecraft fans beware!

With the rise of P2E and the dizzying numbers of new offerings, it’s no surprise that scammers and phishers are seeing an opportunity to make a quick buck. A new Cthulhu World P2E has proved to be just that, and its sophistication is impressive: websites, Discord groups, social media accounts and more have all been created to fool the unwary into thinking it’s a legit operation. More here, and some tips on how to avoid P2E scammers here.

Tamadoge keeps on trucking!

The Tamadoge presale is surging, with 60% of tokens now sold. In a world of uncertainty and dropping prices both in crypto and traditional markets, it’s an unlikely oasis of profit. But it has a number of things going for it: it’s backed by a catchy simple game, will benefit from the Merge and has some big name investors ‘attached’ to it. More here.

Research Articles On Casual Video Games: As An Effective Approach To Learning

The act of playing and learning are inextricably linked. Below are research summaries that shows that games are very effective in every learning process.

Play to Learn

Sharon Boller and Karl Kapp

2017 ASTD DBA the association of Talent Development (ATD)

There is Large body of research that shows that games are more effective than lecture-based approached to learning. In addition, games offer compelling ways to help people learn strategy, resource allocation, and innovation thinking. They can help people understand alternative points of view. They provide an opportunity for each learner to have a personalized learning experience in which the learner can choose to review content, attempt different strategies, experiment, experience the game differently from co-workers and still reach same learning outcome. On the more mundane issue of simply remembering key knowledge, such as product facts, industry information, and process steps, learning games can provide critical spacing and repetition of content which helps cement memory.

Play to Learn, Learn to Play: Language Learning through Gaming Culture

Dongwan Ryu

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2013

Many researchers have investigated learning through playing games. However, after playing games, players often go online to establish and participate in the online community where they enrich their game experiences, discuss game-related issues, and create fan-fictions, screenshots, or scenarios. Although these emerging activities are an essential part of gaming culture, they have not attracted much attention from researchers and only a few empirical studies have been done on learning through beyond-game culture. Language learning in particular has not been extensively researched despite the proliferation of game players who speak English as a foreign language within this community. To address how non-native English speaking (NNE) game players participate in language learning through game play and beyond-game culture, three generations of activity theories and a multiple-case study design were employed in this study. The asynchronous computer-mediated discourses were repeatedly reviewed, and email interviews with participants were conducted over three stages. The discourse analysis of interaction data and interview scripts showed how participants were engaged in language learning through gaming culture. First, words or phrases used in game play could be learned while playing games. Second, sentences or discourses could be practiced through interaction with native or more fluent peers in the online community after playing games. Third, these two types of engagement in gaming culture were closely related to influencing language learning through repeated practices and collaborative interactions. In conclusion, language learning through gaming is appropriately understood when ecological perspectives are adopted to look at both sides of gaming culture.

Video Gaming, Education and Digital Learning Technologies

John Kirriemuir

Games are increasingly used to support teaching and learning e.g., using text adventures to assist in teaching English as a second language. Conclusions as to the effectiveness of games for educational purpose differ; one particular review of relevant research indicated that mathematics was a subject where the use of games was usually superior to traditional classroom instruction.

Effects of video-game play on information processing: A meta-analytic investigation

Kasey L. Powers & Patricia J. Brooks & Naomi J. Aldrich & Melissa A. Palladino & Louis Alfieri

Psychon Bull Rev (2013) 20:1055–1079

Do video games enhance cognitive functioning? We conducted two meta-analyses based on different research designs to investigate how video games impact information processing skills (auditory processing, executive functions, motor skills, spatial imagery, and visual processing). Quasi experimental studies (72 studies, 318 comparisons) compare habitual gamers with controls; true experiments (46 studies, 251 comparisons) use commercial video games in training.

Using random-effects models, video games led to improved information processing in both the quasi-experimental studies, d = 0.61, 95 % CI [0.50, 0.73], and the true experiments, d =

0.48, 95 % CI [0.35, 0.60]. Whereas the quasi-experimental studies yielded small to large effect sizes across domains, the true experiments yielded negligible effects for executive functions, which contrasted with the small to medium effect sizes in other domains. The quasi-experimental studies appeared more susceptible to bias than were the true experiments, with larger effects being reported in higher-tier than in lower-tier journals, and larger effects reported by the most active research groups in comparison with other labs. The results are further discussed with respect to other moderators and limitations in the extant literature.

Play to Learn, Learn to Play. Creating Better Opportunities for Learning in Early Childhood

Laura ElenaCiola

5th International Conference EDU-WORLD 2012 – Education Facing Contemporary World Issues

New trends are emerging in learning and development at early ages, as children characteristics are changing in contemporary social environment; the main challenge for early childhood educators will be to initiate innovative learning experiences, according to these new treats of the kids.

Design and implement creative and beneficial learning settings/opportunities for early ages is becoming a key competence of early educators, that should be consistently reflected in their initial and continuing training programs.

Learning through playing is not a new topic anymore in the pedagogical debate, especially when it comes to early childhood education. Nevertheless, new trends and challenges in the area appeared lately, showing how keeping a learning purpose in mind, young children can really benefit from meaningful learning situations, carefully designed and implemented in practice. In this paper, the inter-changing between learning to play and playing to learn is analyzed, from the perspective of the impact on child development and increase of their learning capabilities at the early age. New life in contemporary societies brought new behaviors and daily practices in children’s life. The professionals working in early childhood education, care and development should benefit from mentioned approaches, but should also be very aware of all the new trends n learning environments at early ages. The new pace of family life, the new technological world, the new games kids are likely to play from very early ages are all bringing into attention specific challenges for adults organizing their learning.

How all these impact on learning processes themselves, but also on the training of new educators for early ages is the central reflection point for this paper, based both on systematic observation of the processes in place, but also on a great deal of secondary data analysis, coming directly from specialized institutions.

Multiple stimulation and challenging learning experiences/scenarios according to the brain and social development of contemporary children is a key for success in early childhood education. This will have to directly impact on teacher training programs design and development.

Embodied play to learn: Exploring Kinect-facilitated memory performance

Kuo-Jen Chao, Hui-Wen Huang, Wei-Chieh Fang and Nian-Shing Chen

British Journal of Educational Technology Vol 44 No 5 2013  E151–E155

Body movements, including gestures, provide different learning channels for students, which may help them to more easily understand learning materials (Hostetter & Alibali, 2008; Tellier, 2008 Wilson, 2002). From this perspective, the purpose of using gestures is to help learners improve their comprehension and build connections between the materials and gestures. In addition to supporting comprehension, gestures can be used to develop more elaborate memories related to learning materials (Riseborough, 1981; So, Sim & Low, 2011; Tellier, 2008). For example, people applying actions during learning events (eg, exercising while saying, “Let’s do exercise.”) have been found to perform better on recall tasks. Previous research has highlighted the effectiveness of using gestures and cognitive tasks together (Goldin-Meadow, McNeil & Singleton, 1996; Ratner, Foley & McCaskill, 2001; Stevanoni & Salmon, 2005).

In cognitive science, embodied cognition is thought to play an important role in connecting mental representations and physical environments (Gibbs, 2006). Previous studies have shown that the operations of real objects, based on embodied cognition theory, can support thinking and learning (Glenberg, Gutierrez, Levin, Japuntich & Kaschak, 2004; Ramini & Siegler, 2008). Montessori (1986, 2004) pointed out that learners have more meaningful learning experiences when they apply physical movement and touch stimulus materials together. Wu and Shaffer (1987) argued that direct experience generated during engagement with the environment produced more cognitive elaboration. For instance, people in physical contexts have better experience in reacting to real objects, perceiving that their interaction with real objects is first-hand or direct (Lombard, 1995) and the real-life behavior is very natural for them.

Accordingly, researchers have started using gesture-based technologies to facilitate learning. For example, Chang, Chien, Chiang, Lin, and Lai (2013) adopted gesture-based multimedia as an innovative way of teaching the concepts of Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. The results showed that the retention of the concepts learned were satisfactory as measured by the immediate test and delayed test. However, there was no control group to examine learning performance in their study.

Although gesture-based technologies in education seem promising, few studies have scientifically examined the effectiveness of body-motion interfaces as learning tools and the utility of sensorimotor interaction in encoding information. Further, the integration of embodiment and direct manipulation of real objects, along with interacting with technology, has been found to enrich mental representations and result in better retention in terms of encoding information (Shams & Seitz, 2008). Thus, the present study hopes to contribute to the current literature by designing an experimental study using integration of direct manipulation of real objects and virtual contexts.

Gamification Marketing And Case Studies

The effects of gamified customer benefits and characteristics on behavioral engagement and purchase: Evidence from mobile exercise application uses

Seongsoo Janga,⁎ , Philip Jame Kitchenb,d , Jinwon Kim

Journal of Business Research

Volume 92, November 2018, Pages 250-259

According to current research, gamification, or the application of game design concepts in non-game scenarios, boosts consumer benefits and promotes benefit-creating behaviors including loyalty, customer engagement, and motivation.

Exploring the Impact of Gamification on Users’ Engagement for Sustainable Development: A Case Study in Brand Applications

Hsi-Peng Lu and Hui-Chen Ho *

Department of Information Management, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology,

Taipei 10607, Taiwan;

“This study analyzed how game mechanics impact users’ gaming behavior and awaken positive feelings so as to increase the stickiness

of the brand.”

Researchers and practitioners are paying increasing attention to gamification as it relates to innovation and sustainable growth in related industries. By integrating game elements and game-thinking into non-gaming contexts, gamification can motivate and incentivize people as well as improve their perception and engagement. Thus, gamification has been extensively used in a variety of industries, including education, healthcare, entertainment, and non-profit organizations, as a potent engagement strategy. The gamification market is anticipated to grow to a 40 USD billion market by 2024, according to TechSci Research. Gamification marketing’s development modifies consumer behavior in addition to company marketing strategies. Gamification may encourage consumer engagement, improve product/brand recognition, and foster loyalty as a marketing tactic in addition to seeking to increase sales and profit. It is crucial for practitioners to pinpoint the fundamental components and critical characteristics influencing the majority of users’ experiences in order to further increase competitive advantage and increase user engagement using gamification in marketing.

Many businesses or organizations have released specialized applications and employed gaming strategies to draw in and keep clients, extending their brand’s reach and opening up additional opportunities for sustainable development. These strategies include competition, scoring systems, and rewards. Nike is one large company that has successfully implemented gamification marketing. Nike Run Club (NRC), which was first released in 2010 and was formerly known as Nike + Running Program, is a well-known running app that enables users to track, log, and share their workouts as well as socially discuss and compare their successes.

Gamification case study: Nike+ saves customers from zombies (and wins their data)

Digital marketing industry case study library

Nike+ Fuel which is available through the Nike+ app and wearing the Nike Fuelband is an example of a great game, which ensures a large number of customers stay in contact and communicate with the brand.

The challenge

Nike wanted to increase its engagement with customers using their Nike+ running app. Gamification is typically used as part of a marketing campaign or for promotional purposes.

Nike however incorporated gamification into its running app Nike + Fuel which enables users to track their physical activity. The game part of the app enables users to compete against each other in their daily amount of physical activity.

The solution

The app collects personal data from users and keeps a close update on their physical activity, displaying their latest achievements and overall performance. The Nike + app allows users to compare and compete with users from all over the world when connected to social media.

The app measures sports performed transcribing them into points, rewarding users for their efforts. Customers are rewarded with trophies and badges after completing different levels.

When awards are won, consumers are encouraged to share their results on social media – increasing the brands presence and visibility on platforms.

As well as competing against other people, when using the Nike Fuelband users can connect to the especially build Zombies Run! app. When running using the app, music from your playlist will be interrupted with radio messages about you being chased by zombies, when you hear the warnings you may need to run faster until you have reached the safe zone, or run to pick up the cure for the zombie creating virus. The app makes mundane running more interesting and creates a mission out of an everyday run.

As well as running away from Zombies, users can also use the Nike + app to play “tag” against people running near them.

The results

The game greatly boosted Nike’s customer loyalty and the system allowed Nike to collect high amounts of data over a long period of time. Nike could then use this data to market their products and services directly. The information led to increased productivity of R&D and digital marketing.

Gamification case study: M&M’s eye spy pretzel

Digital marketing industry case study library

Gamification is being used by brands to stimulate interest and increase engagement of its customers. Some brands are opting to create highly sophisticated apps that have a practical application while others like M&M’s chose to include game like aspects into a larger marketing campaign. This case study looks at how M&M’s did the latter incorporating gamification into the launch of a new flavor of sweets.

Case study summary

• M&M’s incorporated a game into its marketing campaign with great success

• The simple eye-spy game boosted Facebook likes by 25,000

The challenge

In 2010 M&Ms launched a pretzel-flavoured version of its popular confectionery brand. Three years after the initial launch the brand wanted to further promote the flavour. In order to promote M&M’s pretzel products, the company launched a huge marketing campaign which included a successful eye spy game.

The solution

M&Ms incorporated an inexpensive but highly valuable game into the campaign promoting M&M’s pretzel products. The simple cost-effective game consisted of an image of M&M’s and one small pretzel which users had to find.

The results

The simple game bought tangible benefits to the campaign, including fostering user engagement with the brand. As well as this it bought huge gains to M&M’s including 25,000 new likes on the brand’s Facebook page as well as 6,000 shares and 10,000 comments. The game provided a fun way for fans to engage with the brand and spread the word on social

Everything you need to know about gamification marketing

Simone Bryne

People love video games. I know I’ll be playing FIFA as soon as I finish writing this. Video games have mass, worldwide appeal. That’s why gamified content works — it’s fun, interactive, challenging, and even relaxing. According to a report by Digital Marketing World Forum, “60% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy from a brand if they enjoyed playing a game with it.”

Ikea to offer virtual furniture

Meg Carter

Thu 15 May 2008 13.30 BST

Players of The Sims 2 will soon be able to add Ikea furniture to their virtual homes as part of a marketing deal between the Swedish company and Electronic Arts, the computer game’s producer.

EA has formed an unusual partnership with Ikea to make a selection of the retailer’s furniture and home furnishings available to players of The Sims 2, sequel to The Sims – the life simulator that is the best-selling PC game series ever.

From June 27 Sims 2 players in Europe, the games franchise’s biggest market, will be able to decorate their virtual homes with a Malm bed, a Leksvik coffee table and Ektorp sofa, or deck out their virtual home office with a Helmer drawer unit and Lack zigzag shelf.

Earning Rewards/Cash From Casual Video Gaming: Research Articles

Game Reward Systems: Gaming Experiences and Social Meanings

Hao Wang; Chuen-Tsai Sun

“Reward mechanisms in video games can enhance feelings of fun long before rewards are actually given—that is, rewards can create a sense of anticipation among players who know what is specifically required to earn them. “

The authors give an overview of how various video game reward systems provide positive experiences to players, and propose classifications for rewards and reward characteristics for further analysis. They also discuss what reward systems encourage players to do, and describe how they provide fun even before players receive their rewards. Next, they describe how game reward systems can be used to motivate or change behaviors in the physical world. One of our main suggestions is that players can have fun with both rewards and reward mechanisms—enjoying rewards while reacting to the motivation that such rewards provide. Based on relevant psychological theories, we discuss how reward mechanisms foster intrinsic motivation while giving extrinsic rewards. They think that reward systems and mechanisms in modern digital games provide social meaning for players primarily through motivation, enhanced status within gaming societies, and the use of rewards as social tools.

The Impact of Rewards and Trait Reward Responsiveness on Player Motivation

Cody Phillips, Daniel Johnson, Madison Klarkowski, Melanie White

 CHI PLAY 2018, October 28–31, 2018, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

“In the current study, we found that the interest/enjoyment construct of the player experience is better facilitated by including a breadth of video game reward types.”

Despite rewards being seemingly ubiquitous in video games, there has been limited research into their impact on the player experience. Informed by extant literature, we built a casual video game to test the impact of reward types, both individually (i.e. rewards of: access, facility, sustenance, glory, praise) and by variety of rewards (i.e. no rewards, individual rewards, all rewards). No evidence was found for individual reward types impacting the player experience differently. However, evidence was found for a greater variety of rewards having a positive impact on interest and enjoyment. Regardless of the impact of variety of rewards, the individual characteristic of reward responsiveness was found to be predict sense of presence and interest and enjoyment. This paper makes contributions to the application of reward types, general understanding of the impact of rewards on the player experience, and discusses the importance of trait reward responsiveness in player experience evaluation.

How to be an esports star without going pro, playing games like Solitaire and Madden NFL

Mike Snider


Skillz lets you play matches for money on many casual mobile games.”

Show me the money: U.S. esports spending by consumers and advertisers – including media rights and sponsorship revenues – is expected to increase from $221.6 million in 2018 to nearly $516 million in 2023, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Major esports competitions can draw tens of thousands of attendees or more, with prize money in the millions. And pro gamers can make six-figure incomes, not counting sponsorships.

A sign of the potential in esports? Owners of traditional professional sports teams including New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft have paid tens of millions to own esports teams. Kraft owns the Boston Uprising, a team in the Overwatch League; Sterling Equities, which owns the New York Mets, having landed one of the five Call of Duty World League franchises, through its Sterling.VC venture.

Game on: Big brands like K-Swiss and Nike are jumping on the esports bandwagon.

Activision Blizzard plans to begin the new Call of Duty league’s competition next year. Franchises reportedly sold for $25 million each, according to ESPN, which regularly broadcasts esports competitions.

Viewership has been growing, too, with 258 million viewers globally in 2017, according to research firm SuperData, a Nielsen company. For perspective, that compares favorably with the 204 million U.S. viewers who tuned into the 2016 National Football League regular season, based on Nielsen data.

Call your Solitaire obsession training

Where Play One Up is focused on console games, Skillz has been building a competitive mobile esports platform directly on Apple and Android devices.

The San Francisco-based game company, founded in 2012, has more than 28 million registered gamers and about 5,000 games, of which 10% have its esports technology activated to award prizes. (You can get Skillz in the Apple App Store, Samsung’s Galaxy store and on

Last year, its top 10 competitors won more than $8 million in combined winnings. Seven of those top-ranked players were women. The games here are not hard-core offerings you would find on the PS4 and Xbox, but casual games including Mahjong, bowling and dominoes. Earlier this year, Skillz held a global Solitaire tournament with $250,000 in prizes, with the first place winner getting $25,000.

Skillz lets you play matches for money on many casual mobile games.

Random Reward Mechanisms in Video Games

Rune Kristian Lundedal Nielsen & Paweł Grabarczyk

Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association

June 2019, Vol 4 No 3, pp 171-207

ISSN 2328-9422

“Players that completed a certain game and demonstrated their achievement to the publisher were then eligible to win a reward”

(Grabarczyk, June 2019, )The RRM’s history is as follows: It’s crucial to keep in mind that RRMs are not only frequent in games but also in other contexts. Before the term “loot box” became popular, people used the term “loot” to refer to several types of RRMs. In games like Diablo (Blizzard North, 1996) or Borderlands (Gearbox Software, 2009), for instance, defeating a certain adversary [eligibility requirement] initiates an event [random method] that bestows the player with a new object [reward]. These RRMs have been widely utilized in video games virtually since the inception of the industry, and they are frequently employed in conjunction with other random content generation methods (Toy et al.,1980). The fact that RRMs provided the developer with a low-cost method of adding diversity, novelty, and replayability to the game, since the player might continuously be surprised by the things they found during their playing, was one clear factor in the popularity of RRMs in early games. RRMs are typically used for the same cause employed in modern independent games, which also saw a need for adopting economical methods (take the comeback of rogue games’ appeal as an illustration; Garda, 2013).

Additionally, it’s important to note that finishing whole games served as a requirement for entering lotteries throughout the 1980s, particularly in the case of the British ZX Spectrum market. Players that completed a certain game and demonstrated their achievement to the publisher were then eligible to win a reward. In analog 3, RRMs are also extremely prevalent. See for a thorough explanation of the idea of an autonomous game (Garda & Grabarczyk, 2016). Do Loot Boxes Contain Gambling? Monopoly Chance cards are a nice illustration of this, as are the 175 games. The player draws a card from the pre-shuffled deck at random (random technique) if they land on one of the designated fields (eligibility requirement) (or sometimes a penalty).

Casual Video Gaming For Charity: Research Articles

Men are born for games. Nothing else. Every child knows that play is nobler than work.

 —Cormac McCarthy

The fact that charity and social activity are progressively moving online, digital, and mobile should not come as a surprise. But a brand-new dimension is becoming more and more apparent. What is changing goes beyond just being an electronic extension of everyday giving and communication: games and gaming are now intimately involved. not restricted to tried-and-true options like online poker. Nowadays, almost any online game may be played to raise money for a good cause.

According to reliable estimates, America donated just over $360 billion to charity in total in 2012 across all channels.  And even while the cash amount donated through internet and mobile methods is currently still tiny, it is growing quickly. The Network for Good reports that internet donations increased from around $50 million in 2003 to approximately $400 million in 2009. By 2012, one in five Americans had donated to a charity online, and about half of them had done so using text messages sent from their smartphones.  Now, specialized websites and applications like Connect2give and MobileCause provide comprehensive programs for fundraising campaigns using mobile devices and social media.

The time-honored tradition of charity gaming has expanded to the web and mobile platforms. The efforts are not just focused on traditional favorites and obvious options, such as online poker. Nowadays, almost any online game, may be played to raise money for a good cause.

The wave of digitalization has also reached fundraising. The question is, will it be a tsunami that leaves no stone unturned? Or is it a gentle wave that slowly surrounds what already exists—like an ocean current. (Neugebauer, 2021)

Non-profit organizations (NPOs) have long used gaming as a fundraising strategy. From raffles, pull-tabs, and bingo games to Las Vegas-themed “casino nights,” gaming is an effective way of generating NPO operating funds for causes as varied as job training programs and animal shelters to clean air campaigns, cancer patients, disaster relief, and more. This fundraising strategy, and the broader NPO gaming culture to which it gave rise, emerged in the U.S. between the 1960s and the 1980s when bingo and allied games were legalized for “charitable” purposes on a state-by-state basis, in the wake of state lotteries (Beaton, 2014)

This boom in online live streaming has also coincided with a growth in online charitable giving.  Common forms of online giving come in the form of direct giving on a charity’s website and social media platforms such as Facebook Fundraising. Games Done Quick has found great success as a charity organization, raising millions of dollars for charity twice a year. Drawing from participant observations, interviews with key stakeholders, and analyzing donation data, our findings show that viewers of GDQ are motivated to donate to support laudable charity goals, celebrate gameplay skills, commentate on speedruns, and socially interact with the live-streamed event. (STEPHEN TSUNG-HAN SHER & SU, November 2019)

Charity streaming is a cutting-edge and widely used method of fund-raising in which content producers broadcast videos for a long time to raise money and awareness. People spend a lot of time playing games while participating in charity streams. In this study, charitable organizations were questioned about the implications of this new kind of fundraising and how it differs from earlier forms of fundraising. (Mittal & Wohn, October 22–25, 2019)

Casual Video gaming is global and still growing. Utilizing even a small amount of this activity in terms of resources, time, and problem-solving abilities can have a significant positive impact in the real world. In the years to come, video games will drive some of the largest fundraising events, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. (Patterson, 2019)

Already, video games have had a good social and environmental influence. Many businesses have utilized widely played games to promote certain causes through in-game sales and contributions. The mobile augmented reality game Pokemon Go recently gave in-game awards, a “special release” Pokemon, and a $250,000 gift to Mission Blue’s brand-new Hope Spot in Palau to participants of 68 Earth Day clean-up events in 19 countries. With over 100 million registered users, 22% of whom are from Latin America and the Philippines. Animal Jam is an interactive animal library for children. Since 2010, the website has contributed over $10 million to projects promoting animal conservation and education. (Patterson, 2019)


Beaton, D. B. (2014). Can Gaming Be Used in the Nonprofit Sector for More than Fundraising? Las Vegas: Center for Gaming Research, University Libraries, University of Nevada,

Mittal, A., & Wohn, D. Y. (October 22–25, 2019). Charity Streaming: Why Charity Organizations Use Live Streams for Fundraising. Works-in-Progress CHI PLAY’19, Barcelona, Spain.

Neugebauer, L. Z. (2021). where are we currently in Digital Fundraising. Lead Community Fundraising. Management for Professionals. Springer, Cham.

Patterson, T. B. (2019). Playing for the Planet –How video games can deliver for people and the environment. Arendal, Norway: UN Environment/GRID-Arendal.

STEPHEN TSUNG-HAN SHER, & SU, N. M. ( November 2019). Speedrunning for Charity: How Donations Gather Around a Live Streamed Couch. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact., Vol. 3, No. CSCW, Article 48.

Academic Papers on Health Benefits of Playing Casual Video Games

Paper One

Commercial Off-The-Shelf Video Games for Reducing Stress and Anxiety: Systematic Review Federica Pallavicini, Ph.D.; Alessandro Pepe, Ph.D.; Fabrizia Mantovani, Ph.D. JMIR Ment Health 2021 | vol. 8 | iss. 8 | e28150 | p. 19

Background: Using commercial off-the-shelf video games rather than custom-made computer games could have several advantages for reducing stress and anxiety, including their low cost, advanced graphics, and the possibility to reach millions of individuals worldwide. However, it is important to emphasize that not all commercial video games are equal, and their effects strongly depend on the specific characteristics of the games.

Objective: The aim of this systematic review was to describe the literature on the use of commercial off-the-shelf video games for diminishing stress and anxiety, examining the research outcomes along with critical variables related to computer game characteristics (ie, genre, platform, time of play).

Methods: A systematic search of the literature was performed following the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis) guidelines.

Results: A total of 28 studies met the inclusion criteria for the publication period 2006-2021. The findings demonstrate the benefit of commercial off-the-shelf video games for reducing stress in children, adults, and older adults. The majority of the retrieved studies recruited young adults, and fewer studies have involved children, middle-aged adults, and older adults. In addition to exergames and casual video games, other genres of commercial off-the-shelf games helped to reduce stress and anxiety.

Conclusions: Efficacy in reducing stress and anxiety has been demonstrated not only for exergames and casual video games but also for other genres such as action games, action-adventure games, and augmented reality games. Various gaming platforms, including consoles, PCs, smartphones, mobile consoles, and virtual reality systems, have been used with positive results. Finally, even single and short sessions of play had benefits in reducing stress and anxiety.

Paper Two

Computer game play reduces intrusive memories of experimental trauma via reconsolidation-update mechanisms.

James EL, Bonsall MB, Hoppitt L, et al.

Psychol Sci 2015; 26:1201–1215

The memory of a traumatic event becomes consolidated within hours. Intrusive memories can then flash back repeatedly into the mind’s eye and cause distress. We investigated whether reconsolidation—the process during which memories become malleable when recalled—can be blocked using a cognitive task and whether such an approach can reduce these unbidden intrusions.

We predicted that reconsolidation of a reactivated visual memory of experimental trauma could be disrupted by engaging in a visuospatial task that would compete for visual working memory resources.

 We showed that intrusive memories were virtually abolished by playing the computer game Tetris following a memory reactivation task 24 hr after initial exposure to experimental trauma.

Furthermore, both memory reactivation and playing Tetris were required to reduce subsequent intrusions (Experiment 2), consistent with reconsolidation-update mechanisms.

A simple, noninvasive cognitive-task procedure administered after emotional memory has already consolidated (i.e., > 24 hours after exposure to experimental trauma) may prevent the recurrence of intrusive memories of those emotional events

Paper Three

Key Steps in Developing a Cognitive Vaccine against Traumatic Flashbacks: Visuospatial Tetris versus Verbal Pub Quiz.

Holmes EA, James EL, Kilford EJ, Deeprose C (2010)

PLoS ONE 5(11): e13706. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013706

Background: Flashbacks (intrusive memories of a traumatic event) are the hallmark feature of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, however preventative interventions are lacking. Tetris may offer a ‘cognitive vaccine’ [1] against flashback development after trauma exposure. We previously reported that playing the computer game Tetris soon after viewing traumatic material reduced flashbacks compared to no-task [1]. However, two criticisms need to be addressed for clinical translation: (1) Would all games have this effect via distraction/enjoyment, or might some games even be harmful? (2) Would effects be found if administered several hours post-trauma? Accordingly, we tested Tetris versus an alternative computer game – Pub Quiz – which we hypothesized not to be helpful (Experiments 1 and 2), and extended the intervention interval to 4 hours (Experiment 2).

Methodology/Principal Findings: The trauma film paradigm was used as an experimental analog for flashback development in healthy volunteers. In both experiments, participants viewed traumatic film footage of death and injury before completing one of the following: (1) no-task control condition (2) Tetris or (3) Pub Quiz. Flashbacks were monitored for 1 week. Experiment 1: 30 min after the traumatic film, playing Tetris led to a significant reduction in flashbacks compared to no-task control, whereas Pub Quiz led to a significant increase in flashbacks. Experiment 2: 4 hours post-film, playing Tetris led to a significant reduction in flashbacks compared to no-task control, whereas Pub Quiz did not.

Conclusions/Significance: First, computer games can have differential effects post-trauma, as predicted by a cognitive science formulation of trauma memory. In both Experiments, playing Tetris post-trauma film reduced flashbacks. Pub Quiz did not have this effect, even increasing flashbacks in Experiment 1. Thus not all computer games are beneficial or merely distracting post-trauma – some may be harmful. Second, the beneficial effects of Tetris are retained at 4 hours post-trauma.

Clinically, this delivers a feasible time window to administer a post-trauma ‘‘cognitive vaccine’’.

Paper four

Reasons for Playing Casual Video Games and Perceived Benefits Among Adults 18 to 80 Years Old

Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., Stacy Ellenberg, BA, and Kyoko Akimoto, BA

CYBERPSYCHOLOGY, BEHAVIOR, AND SOCIAL NETWORKING Volume 16, Number 12, 2013 ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2012.0705

Casual video games (CCGs) are becoming increasingly popular among middle-aged and older adults, yet there are few studies documenting why adults of different ages play these games, what benefits they perceive, and how regularly they play. The present study compared the online survey responses of 10,308 adults ranging from 18 to 80 years of age to questions regarding PopCap’s popular free online game, Bejeweled Blitz (BJB). All respondents cited playing against friends as their main reason for playing. However, there were differences by age in the second most frequently cited reason. Middle-aged adults cited stress relief, and older adults reported that they seek the game’s challenges. As a result of playing CVGs, younger adults noted that they felt sharper and experienced improved memory; older adults were more likely to feel that their visuospatial skills and response time benefited. Adults aged 60 and older had heavier patterns of gameplay than did adults under the age of 60 years. A significant number of respondents (14.7%) spontaneously noted that they felt that BJB had addictive qualities. CVG players seem to be drawn into this activity by its social nature and to a certain extent by its reinforcing properties. Once involved, however, they believe that they derive a number of benefits that, for older adults, appear to offset declines in age-sensitive cognitive functions.

Paper five

Integration of Casual Video Games During Online Learning to Relief Stress in Students.

Vickneish Vimalanathan, Vickineshwari Kunasegaran, Kavilasini Alagenthran, Rishen Narayan Dev Balamurugan, and Pratheep Sandrasaigaran*

 © 2022 The Authors. Published by Penteract Technology. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC 4.0 license (

COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all facets of society, including students, as daily learning activities were severely affected while face-to-face classes were forced to be held online. As a result, students underwent tremendous stress and were exposed to severe mental health conditions. Thus, this study investigates how the integration of casual video games into online learning can relieve stress among science students.

An online survey was designed and disseminated to students via social media. The respondents were pre-assessed for stress and emotional conditions during their online learning. Then, the respondents were instructed to watch a tutorial video on YouTube and play a quiz-like casual video game that we had developed. The respondents were then reassessed for stress and emotional level (post-assessment) to understand how casual video games can relieve their anxiety in online learning.

 All questionnaires in this survey were tested for the Likert scale, with one being strongly disagreed and five strongly agreed. Similar pre-and post-survey questionnaires were designed and tested against academicians for their perceived efficiency of casual video games in online learning.

The outcome of this study has shown significant improvements in students’ stress and mental-emotional levels when the casual video game is introduced as part of their online lesson. On the other hand, academicians perceived that online teaching alone is as effective as casual video games during online learning.

However, the academicians also perceived that casual video games could significantly reduce students’ stress and emotions during online classes. We propose that casual video games are considered an integral tool for online teaching and learning as they can significantly reduce students’ stress in online learning during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Paper six

Action video game modifies visual selective attention.

Magy Seif El-Nasr, Su Yan

ACE ’06: Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGCHI international conference on Advances in computer entertainment technology; June 2006 Pages 22–es

Understanding players’ visual attention patterns within an interactive 3D game environment is an important research area that can improve game-level design and graphics. Several graphics techniques use a perception-based rendering method to enhance graphics quality while achieving the fast rendering speed required for fast-paced 3D video games. Game designers can also enhance gameplay by adjusting the level design, texture and color choices, and objects’ locations, if such decisions are informed by a study of players’ visual attention patterns in 3D game environments. This paper seeks to address this issue. We present results showing different visual attention patterns that players exhibit in two different game types: action-adventure games and first-person shooter games. In addition, analyzing visual attention patterns within a complex 3D game environment presents a new challenge because the environment is very complex with many rapidly changing conditions; the methods used in previous research cannot be used in such environments. In this paper, we will discuss our exploration seeking a new approach to analyzing visual attention patterns within interactive 3D environments.

In designing the experiment, we made three hypotheses, which can be described as follows: • Bottom-up visual features affect players’ perception of a 3D video game environment. We specifically focus on color and motion and study their effectiveness in grabbing players’ attention in a 3D environment. • Since video games are highly goal-oriented, we hypothesize that top-down visual features are more effective in attracting players’ attention than bottom-up visual features. • Eye movement patterns may differ among different game genres. We believe that eye movement patterns reveal the way that game players visually perceive the 3D environment. Since the pace and visual composition of game levels are different in different genres, we hypothesize that eye movement patterns among different game genres are also different.

Paper Seven

Video games and health

Mark Griffiths.

BMJ VOLUME 331 16 JULY 2005

Although playing video games is one of the most popular leisure activities in the world, research

into its effects on players, both positive and negative, is often trivialized. Some of this research

deserves to be taken seriously, not least because video game playing has implications for health.1

One innovative application of video games in health care is their use in pain management. The degree of attention needed to play such a game can distract the player from the sensation of pain, a strategy that has been reported and evaluated among pediatric patients. One case study reported the use of a handheld video game to stop an 8-year-old boy from picking at his face. The child had neurodermatitis and scarring due to continual picking at his upper lip. Previous treatments had failed so the boy was given a handheld video game to keep his hands occupied. After two weeks the affected area had healed. Controlled studies using both randomized controlled trials and comparison with patients’ own baseline measures show that video games can provide a cognitive distraction for children during chemotherapy for

cancer and treatment for sickle cell disease.2–5 All these studies reported that distracted patients had less

nausea and lower systolic blood pressure than controls (who were simply asked to rest) after

treatment and needed fewer analgesics.

Video games have been used as a form of physiotherapy or occupational therapy in many different groups of people. Such games focus attention away from potential discomfort and, unlike more traditional therapeutic activities, they do not rely on passive movements and sometimes painful manipulation of the limbs.

 Video games have been used as a form of physiotherapy for arm injuries, in training the movements of a 13-year-old child with Erb’s palsy, and as a form of occupational therapy to increase hand strength. Therapeutic benefits have also been reported for a variety of adult populations including wheelchair users with spinal cord injuries, people with severe burns, and people with muscular dystrophy. Video games have also been used in comprehensive programs to help develop social and spatial ability skills in children and adolescents with severe learning disabilities or other developmental problems, including autism; children with multiple handicaps (for example severely limited acquisition of speech); and children with impulsive and attention deficit disorders.