Article: Making Hospitals Fun

Making Hospitals Fun: How can games improve the patient hospitalization experience
Erin Hoffman [2006]

This article explains how games are being used to bring entertainment and education for patients and visitors that go to the hospital. The author explains the following three projects:

The first project, created by the Entertainment Technology Center in Carnegie Mellon, was a frog-like shape kiosk that was placed in the waiting rooms with several activities for kids, the most popular of them being an interactive coloring book that allowed kids to create their own pictures and then 'play' them through an animation sequence.

This project created a fun environment for kids in the hospital's waiting room so they felt more comfortable while being there.

The second project, created by the Johns Hopkins University in conjunction with the Pediatric Rehabilitation Center in Mt. Washington, was aimed at kids with weight problems. The project involved the use of the Sony EyeToy and CatEye Fitness gamebikes to create a fun environment to do excercise. Also, that provided a safe place where all the kids could go and not be judged by their weight.

The last project, called HOPE (Hospital-based Online Pediatric Environment) was aimed at kids who were in isolated sociological situations in the hospital environment (kids that have to be in the hospital several days a week for several hours). The project involved the use of Xbox consoles and E-rated games so kids could play with each other, talk and connect socially. This made the isolated and frightening hospital experience less traumatic.

This article shows how videogames can really change lives in ways that you may never had thought. Some people say that videogames are a waste of time, the people involved in these projects can provide a different point of view.

Hoffman, Erin. (2006). Making Hospitals Fun: How can games improve the patient hospitalization experience? Retrieved March 16, 2001 from

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