A game to make burns hurt less

November 15, 2008 BY danariely

Burns are a particularly nasty and painful type of injury: the nerve endings are damaged, skin regrows tougher and tighter, and on top of this patients have to also deal with physical therapy.

A new game, called Snow World gets burn patients to play a 3D computer game in which move along a snowy path and fire snowballs at nonmoving target.  What are the effects of this game?  A recent report shows that patients playing the game report feeling less pain when playing, and more impressively also get a greater range of motion in their burnt limbs as their muscles relaxed. Finally, they also get less pain medication was also required, meaning patients were lucid for longer periods of time.

This is just great — and I wish I had this game when I was in hospital.  Maybe we can find games for other issues as well (eliminating the pain of social rejection, losing money in the stock market….).