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Useful Games for Therapy Addressing Motor Skills

Playing any video game requires a degree of movement from the player. However, motion-controlled games require a greater degree of movement and are therefore more useful from a therapeutic perspective.

These motion games can be applied in many different ways to positively affect neuromuscular control or an individual’s ability to control their own body. We’ve worked with University of St. Augustine Doctoral Occupational Therapy student, Tyler Brinkman, to compile the following list of games useful for this purpose.

Tyler performed an activity analysis on each game and found them to contain aspects of gameplay that predominantly utilised client factors and performance skills associated with movement. These included vestibular function, proprioception, joint mobility and stability, muscular endurance, and cardiovascular function. Performance skills commonly identified within these games included: stabilises, reaches, bends, grips, and coordinates.

Skills that can potentially be addressed using the following video games include:

  • Gross Motor Control: Games that require large movements. These can be therapeutically useful for getting individuals to perform large bodily movements, usually involving the whole of the arms, legs, and trunk. This can improve the range of motion and strength for their traversal of everyday spaces.
  • Balance: Games that require full body motion and control while standing. These can be therapeutically useful for getting an individual to keep their body upright and resist falling while performing various actions. This can improve the ability to navigate through an environment safely and can reduce the risk of falls.

The in-depth activity analysis for each game can be read in Tyler Brinkman's Video Game Analysis. This provides the therapeutic benefits that each game was found to offer.
This list includes 12 games from the last 15 years, with 143 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to use games for movement therapy. We break them down into the following areas:


Gross Motor

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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