Developing Health Games requires multidisciplinary expertise


  • Jaana Kemppainen School of Health and Sports, Information Systems, Kajaanin ammattikorkeakoulu Oy, Kajaani
  • Tanja Korhonen School of Health and Sports, Information Systems, Kajaanin ammattikorkeakoulu Oy, Kajaani
  • Teija Ravelin School of Health and Sports, Information Systems, Kajaanin ammattikorkeakoulu Oy, Kajaani


health game, game development, multidisciplinary co-operation, university of applied sciences, The Game of My Life


Serious games offer users information disguised with game-like entertaining elements. Due to their elements of surprise and simulation, such games can potentially engage and inspire their target groups more than traditional methods. Health games are serious games that can be divided into cognitive, emotional and rehabilitative health games. Social and healthcare services need to develop new customer-oriented functions empowering its customers. Health games provide a new method and model of maintaining and developing the mental and physical capability of all age groups, for instance as part of self-treatment.

Health game development starts from the need to find a new solution to support treatment. The participation of game design experts, healthcare professionals and end-users is required in planning the game concept. Game implementation requires a team consisting of game design, production, graphics, programming, and sound and testing professionals. Health care experts, who bring their knowledge into the process, support this team’s work. Game development proceeds in cycles or sprints during which the health game is tested by customer groups at various stages of development. The tested game is then commercialized for marketing purposes taking into account potential business openings. Overall, good health game development occurs via multidisciplinary cooperation.

Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (KAMK) has developed several health game prototypes as a result of cooperation between Game Studies within Business Information Technology and Nursing and Healthcare education: the Stroke Kinect rehabilitation game for stroke patients, a dance game for the elderly and Elämäni peli – the Game of My Life supporting the development of youth life management skills during 2011-2012. KAMK is currently building a virtual exercise and training simulator within the ATHENE project, which first implemented an orienteering simulator. The HETTE project is exploring potential business models for health games within various market areas and advancing the development of the ‘Elämäni Peli’ (The Game of My Life), under the name of Elamanipeli – The Game of My Life.


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How to Cite

Kemppainen, J., Korhonen, T., & Ravelin, T. (2014). Developing Health Games requires multidisciplinary expertise. Finnish Journal of EHealth and EWelfare, 6(4), 200–205. Retrieved from