New research: fMRIs show how games can make you SuperBetter!

Huge news from the world of health games research!

Earlier this week, game developer HopeLab (creators of the cancer-fighting game Re:Mission, which has been clinically proven to improve patient outcomes) and Stanford researchers published new data that sheds light on how game play can inspire healthy behavior.

HopeLab has previously published research showing that players of the Re:Mission game significantly changed their real-world behaviors (more likely to take medications on schedule, more likely to complete chemotherapy) and their outlook (more confidence in their ability to take actions to beat cancer). But they wanted to know: What EXACTLY is it about the game that creates this powerful link between virtual interaction and real-world thought and action?

Enter the new study, which you can read for yourself here: “Interactivity and Reward-Related Neural Activation during a Serious Videogame”.

This new research maps brain function during game play (check out the fMRI images above!). The results indicate that the interactive nature of video games is the critical ingredient — particularly how gaming supercharges motivation, positive emotion, and “self-efficacy”, or our belief that we can positively influence the outcome of events with our own actions.

We’re excited by this research at SuperBetter, because one of our main hypotheses about why SuperBetter works has to do with the long-term effects of positive emotion. Our design is also focused on increasing self-efficacy.

You’ll find more pics, video and inside scoop on the data at Hope Lab’s blog. Take a look!

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