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“Serious Games for Diabetes, Obesity, and Healthy Lifestyle,” a special symposium in the July 2012 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, features five research articles from grantees of RWJF's national program, Health Games Research. The issue is guest co-edited by Health Games Research National Program Director Debra Lieberman of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and by Deborah Thompson, PhD, associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine and research nutritionist with the Agricultural Research Service, the main in-house research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The symposium contains five research articles that investigate design strategies and effects of health behavior change games aimed at motivating and supporting players’ physical activity. Four of the articles study exergames, such as Wii Fit, which require physical exertion as the interface to the game. Another article studies a technology-supported alternate reality game that challenges players to solve a mystery and, in the process, engage in physical activity in various locations in the community. These five research articles report on work funded by the Health Games Research national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio.