Game on! the influence of video games on understanding of cancer-based therapies

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
North American Journal of Pyschology
The awareness of how cancer treatments work to stop the spread of cancers is poorly understood and could potentially be explained through methods of active learning. Re-Mission 1, developed by HopeLab Industries, is a computer game that can be used by pediatric cancer patients to educate and prepare them for what they will experience in terms of cancer progression and treatment (Tate, Haritatos, & Cole, 2009). Pediatric patients who played this game were found to have improved motivation and self-understanding of their illness (Kato, Cole, Bradlyn, & Pollack, 2008). Seeing the success of Re-Mission 1, Re- Mission 2, a series of six different games that includes Re-Mission 2: Nanobot’s Revenge, was developed. The purpose of the present study was to see if Re-Mission 2: Nanobot’s Revenge would lead to an understanding of cancer physiology in the same way as Re-Mission 1, as well as to compare the relative effectiveness of text- and game-based materials in terms of their educational value (at short- and long-term intervals). The results indicated that playing Re-Mission 2: Nanobot’s Revenge yielded significant educational benefits similar to Re-Mission 1. Furthermore, while both the text- and game-based methods were effective educational tools for teaching participants about cancer physiology and treatment, the text-based method led to significantly higher memory recall than the game-based method. The use of video games further aided in memory persistence, which is important for the long-term nature of cancer diagnoses and accompanying treatments. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)
Cancer, Cancer in children, Health education
Bacharz, K. C., Howard, J. R., & Smith, P. L. (2020). Game on! The influence of video games on understanding of cancer-based therapies. North American Journal of Psychology, 22(2), 221–242.