Games for health for children - current status and needed research

T. Baranowski, F. Blumberg, R. Buday, A. DeSmet, L.E. Fiellin, C.S. Green, Pam Kato, A.S. Lu, A.E. Maloney, R. Mellecker, B.A. Morrill, W. Peng, R. Shegog, M. Simons, A.E. Staiano, D. Thompson, K. Young, Institute of Digital Media and Child Development Working Group on Games for Health

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Videogames for health (G4H) offer exciting, innovative, potentially highly effective methods for increasing knowledge, delivering persuasive messages, changing behaviors, and influencing health outcomes. Although early outcome results are promising, additional research is needed to determine the game design and behavior change procedures that best promote G4H effectiveness and to identify and minimize possible adverse effects. Guidelines for ideal use of different types of G4H by children and adolescents should be elucidated to enhance effectiveness and minimize adverse effects. G4H stakeholders include organizational implementers, policy makers, players and their families, researchers, designers, retailers, and publishers. All stakeholders should be involved in G4H development and have a voice in setting goals to capitalize on their insights to enhance effectiveness and use of the game. In the future, multiple targeted G4H should be available to meet a population's diverse health needs in developmentally appropriate ways. Substantial, consistent, and sophisticated research with appropriate levels of funding is needed to realize the benefits of G4H.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Final publication is available from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers .


  • videogames
  • games for health


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