A growing scientific field is focusing on using video games, especially ones in virtual reality, to embed health messages. Recent research has shown that the immersive world of video games allows easy delivery of health-conscious messages like don’t and drink and drive or don’t smoke. The research suggests that the comfort gamers feel within such escapism makes them more open to health advice and suggestions. Even something like an avatar can affect real-life activity among men.
Hart Blanton, a professor of psychological sciences at the University of Connecticut, discussed his belief that “we need to start thinking about what is a healthy virtual environment.” He also said that “there isn’t any reason why commercials or video games can’t think of ways of folding in public service announcements in ways that enhance the gaming experience to make it more real…”
Blanton and his colleague, Christopher Burrows, have been researching the possible relationship between video games and PSAs intensively. They truly believe there’s great potential there. Don’t worry though, Blanton’s not trying to incorporate any subliminal messages in your gaming. Something like an anti-DUI poster on the wall of a DMV office would do. The message makes sense in context and is transparent.