Citation Goodman W, McFerran E, Purves R, Redpath I & Beeken RJ (2018) The Untapped Potential of the Gaming Community: Narrative Review. JMIR Serious Games, 6 (3), Art. No.: e10161. https://doi.org/10.2196/10161
Abstract Video gamers are a population at heightened risk of developing obesity due to the sedentary nature of gaming, increased energy intake and the disruption caused to their sleep. This increases their risk of developing a number of non-communicable diseases. To date, research seeking to improve health behaviours has focussed on developing novel video games to promote behaviour change. Although positive results have emerged from this research, the success has been limited due to the lack of transferability to more mainstream games and the focus on children and adolescents. However, the gaming community has a number of unique aspects which, in comparison to the development of new video games, have received less attention. Research has found that advertising can have implicit effects on individual’s memories which could influence their later decisions. Yet the effect of the exponential growth of in-game advertisements, and brand sponsorship of gaming events and professional gamers, has not been explored in the gaming community. Nor has the possibility of using advertising techniques to encourage positive health behaviours within games or at these events. Research suggests that virtual communities can be effective at disseminating health information, but the efficacy of this needs to be explored utilising known community influencers within the gaming community. The purpose of this paper is to highlight these under-researched areas that have the potential to encourage positive health behaviour among this community.
Keywords video games; advertisements; health behaviour;