Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Serious Games, Alternative Realities, and Play Therapy

Anthony Lewis Brooks (Editor), Sheryl Brahnam (Editor), Lakhmi C. Jain (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportAnthologyResearchpeer-review

Original languageEnglish
PublisherSpringer
Volume536
Edition1
Number of pages360
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-45431-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-45432-5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2014
SeriesStudies in Computational Intelligence
ISSN1860-949X

Bibliographical note

Review text: see above link (Additional)
Review Number:
2015/1
Review Subject:
Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Serious Games, Alternative Realities, and Play Therapy Edited by Anthony Lewis Brooks, Sherryl Brahnam and Lakhmi C. Jain
Publisher Name:
Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Place of Publication:
New York, Dordrecht and London
Publication Year:
2014
Publisher:
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article

Technologies of Inclusive Well-Being: Serious Games, Alternative Realities, and Play Therapy is part of the book series Studies in Computational Intelligence by Springer. The editors, Anthony Lewis Brooks, Sheryl Brahnam and Lakhmi C. Jain, have pulled together a great collection of academic articles focused on the application of digital media for therapeutic benefit and well-being with a wide range of groups in mind. These include people with cognitive decline, motor conditions, neurodevelopmental disorders, and people living in challenging conditions (e.g. living on their own). The range of technologies considered within this edited collection span virtual reality environments, robotics, and serious games. It is through these technologies (and others) that innovation is brought about for the purpose of helping people to more live more independent and fulfilling lives.

One aspect of this book that is unique, and specifically interesting to read, is the context of the research and its relationship to practice and implications. These are often neglected aspects in work of this type; meaning this book should have a wide readership and prove of interest to many people. These might include, therapists, schoolteachers, school ICT managers, policy-makers, parents, users of the specific technologies, and researchers, to name but a few. In addition to the practical contexts covered in this book, the role of interdisciplinary research and the need to engage professionals from a range of disciplines is well highlighted. The role of designers, technicians, and therapists are all drawn upon in many of the chapters; as is the need for robust evaluation processes. This book contains mainly academic work and the research is well underpinned, contextualised, and historical foundations are well considered. This enables all the work to build on some solid foundations while proposing some key questions; and in doing so means the work contained in this book provides some new and original insights to the field. This ensures that the readership will include researchers and academics, in addition to service providers working within the domains of technologies for inclusion.

A common aspect that relates to many of the articles in this collection is that of creativity and expression. While on the one hand the articles are academically grounded, and relate to specific conditions and disorders, on the other they offer insights into the pleasure and creative expression afforded by the use of different technologies. This aspect provides this collection with a somewhat original angle. In addition to this, the disruptive innovation section of this collection (Part 5) provides an interesting and much-needed introduction and look inside this future-facing aspect of technology for rehabilitation (more of this would have been very welcomed). One such chapter considers cloud-based resources and the potential impact this could have on the development of future innovations in contexts related to policy and technology. These, and other areas, are specifically important, as service providers must seek ways to expand and scale innovations that stand the chance of impacting so many.

The various authors contributing to this book do a valiant job of bringing through the voice of participants and users in their studies (Chapters 8 and 9 are good examples of this). Being able to disseminate this view and voice is becoming more and more important in this, and other, disciplines. While the nature of statistics and other objective measures used in such studies are necessary, enabling research to contain the views of the users is an agenda not often seen in this discipline.

The editors pull the chapters of this collection together nicely; highlighting, correctly, the trend towards increased demands on service and how technologies can be used to augment and supplement this concern. The chapters of the book consider carefully, in many cases, the voices of key stakeholders in the overarching endeavour to create and apply meaningful and well-designed solutions. In reading this book, you will be filled with confidence that technologies for inclusive well-being is a well-established field. All credit to the publishers, editors, and authors for this fine collection of work and for providing us with an important reminder of research and practice in this field.

Keywords

  • Alternative Realities
  • Serious Games
  • Play
  • Therapy
  • Healthcare
  • Inclusive well-being
  • Technology
  • Digitam Media

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