Staying Motivated During Difficult Times: A Snapshot of Serious Games for Pediatrics Cancer Patient
Research on the use of digital games for cancer patients suggests positive impact in the form of the reduction of the depressive symptoms, anxiety, and the feeling of nausea after chemotherapy treatment. This can take the child’s focus off their condition and their treatment process and direct it towards other aspects of their childhood. A comprehensive review of the current literature was conducted to assess how serious games could positively impact pediatric cancer patients. Inclusion criteria were used during data extraction to find the most relevant literature, including the need for a game prototype to have been developed and for the game to specifically target children with cancer as a target audience. Data were extracted including age ranges, treatment and procedure plan, time context, users, purpose, and technology. This resulted in ten unique serious game from the literature being identified for analysis. This review demonstrates the positive use of serious games as an intervention for pediatric cancer patients that undergo treatment in hospital. The results suggest that the design of these serious games should consider (1) the purpose of the game within the treatment plan of target audience; (2) the accessibility and suitability of the technology used for the game; and (3) social connection during play.