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April 27, 2011

Interactive Games to Promote Behavior Change in Prevention and Treatment

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Alloy Ventures and Seriosity Inc, Palo Alto, California (Dr Read); and School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley (Dr Shortell).

JAMA. 2011;305(16):1704-1705. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.408

Anyone who has observed someone deeply absorbed in a video game can appreciate that use of these games is a uniquely powerful interaction. For the player, time stands still and self-consciousness disappears. Csikszentmihalyi described this state as “flow.”1 His concept was exemplified by mountain climbers living in the moment of ascent or surgeons lost in a delicate and demanding task. He could just as well have been describing what happens when individuals engage with some of today's interactive games.

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