The Therapeutic Use of Videogames within Secure Forensic Settings: a Review of the Literature and Application to Practice

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Abstract:

Engagement in leisure pursuits that involves the use of tools and objects and the exploration of a new environment can provide a success experience that leads to increased feelings of competence and mastery. Such experiences are considered important in the rehabilitation of forensic clients.

The findings from videogame research within a general population are compared with those among mental health and forensic clients. Within the general population, videogames may provide opportunities for social interaction and the expression of creativity and humour as well as offering a graded approach to building computer skills. Within a forensic population, videogames have been found to be a normalising, age-appropriate and culturally appropriate activity, useful in engaging clients and improving self-concept and locus of control.

The findings suggest that videogame play offers access to a safe virtual environment that encourages exploration and mastery and that it may be a useful therapeutic tool in secure settings where such opportunities are often limited. The use and potential contraindications of videogames within a forensic setting, the content of certain games and their possible influence on behaviour and the implications for future research are also discussed.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2004

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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