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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

The title of a recently published article, A Serious Game to Improve Emotion Regulation in Treatment-Seeking Individuals With Gambling Disorder: A Usability Study, peaked my interest for a few reasons.

First, being part of a group of folks who design and create learning opportunities for mental health and addictions clinicians, we have talked about integrating "serious games" (broadly defined as games with educational or informational aims, vs. purely entertainment) into our course design. Second, I am very curious about the proliferation, design, utility, and effectiveness of apps intended to improve mental health.

Unfortunately (as far as my curiosity goes) the data gathered in this study focused on "usability" as determined by study participants (measuring things like "is it easy to use?" or "unnecessarily complex?") vs. the impact playing the game had (if any) on increased emotional regulation skills or gambling behaviour.

For the clinicians out there, have you integrated mental health apps into treatment with your gambling (or gaming) clients? What have been some of the pros/cons? Tell us about your experience!


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