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Video games are serious business: serious and practical applications of games
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Video games are serious business: serious and practical applications of games

Written by Patty Toledo
09 Feb 2023

Originally considered a form of entertainment, video games have evolved into much more. In recent years, video games have found several serious, real-world applications beyond this avenue. In this post, we will examine what these real-world applications are and highlight some key examples of video games that cut through to make a positive impact on the world.

Medical Training

Medical schools and hospitals have started to use video games as a tool for training future doctors and nurses. Games provide a safe and controlled environment where students can practise procedures and surgeries and make mistakes without any harm to patients. They are also being used to educate patients about their conditions and help them understand the procedures they will undergo.

One example of a video game used for medical training is “Surgeon Simulator.” This game simulates the experience of performing surgeries and provides players with the opportunity to practise different procedures. This has been used in medical schools to teach students about anatomy and the procedures involved in surgeries.

Military Training

The military has been using video games for years to simulate combat situations and train soldiers in decision-making, strategy, and teamwork. These games have become increasingly realistic, allowing soldiers to experience the stress and pressure of combat without actually putting themselves in harm’s way.

An example of this application is “America’s Army.” This game was developed by the U.S. Army and is designed to provide soldiers with a realistic training experience. The game simulates various combat situations and tasks players with making decisions that will affect the outcome of the mission. America’s Army has been used to train soldiers for years and has been updated to reflect the latest technology and tactics used in modern combat.

Mental Health Treatment

Video games have also been found to be effective in treating mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. They provide a sheltered environment to work through emotions and experiences which can be used as a supplement to traditional therapy. Video games can also help patients develop coping mechanisms and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.

A great example of a video game used for mental health treatment is “SPARX.” This was developed in New Zealand and is designed to help teens and young adults deal with depression. The game provides players with an engaging environment to work through their emotions and experiences. SPARX has been found to be effective in reducing symptoms of depression in teens and young adults and has been widely used in mental health clinics.

Physical Therapy

Video games are also being used in physical therapy to help patients recover from injuries and improve their movements. They provide a hands-on experience for patients to perform exercises and the feedback they receive helps track their progress, allowing them to make adjustments to their therapy. 

A great example is “Nintendo Wii Sports.” This game was developed by Nintendo and includes a variety of sports games that require players to use their entire bodies to play. The games have been found to be effective in helping patients recover from injuries and improve their movements. Physical therapists often use the Nintendo Wii Sports games to help patients perform exercises and easily track their progress.


Video games are being used in the classroom to make learning more interactive and engaging. Games can be used to teach subjects such as history, science, and maths, and provide students with a hands-on learning experience that makes abstract concepts more concrete. Games are also being used to encourage students to develop critical thinking skills and problem-solving abilities.

“Minecraft: Education Edition” is great proof of this concept. This game provides a virtual world where students can build and explore, encouraging creativity and problem-solving skills. It can be used to teach subjects such as history, geography, and biology, and has been integrated into classrooms around the world. In the game, students can recreate historical events, build models of famous landmarks, or create simulations of natural ecosystems. This hands-on learning experience has been found to be effective in engaging students and helping them retain information better than traditional methods.

Video games have proven to be a valuable tool for serious applications beyond just entertainment. From medical training to military training, mental health treatment, physical therapy, and education, video games are providing new and innovative ways to solve real-world problems. The growing use of video games for serious purposes demonstrates the versatility and potential of this technology, and it will be interesting to see how it continues to evolve and be used in the future. While video games may still be viewed by some as just a form of entertainment, it is clear that they have the potential to make a significant positive impact on various aspects of our lives.