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Computer games

Published April 2013

Download the full evidence summary PDF: Computer games

PLEASE NOTE: This summary was produced more than 4 years ago. Information provided may be out of date. If you think it would be helpful to update this summary please contact us at

What were we asked?

A parent suggested that a ‘Dance Mat’ computer game had helped her son. Would this be a useful therapy for children with different conditions?

Key findings

There is some evidence to suggest that active computer games may have therapeutic and social benefits for children with motor impairments.
However, the evidence isn’t very strong. Most studies have involved small numbers of children and haven’t involved control groups.
Despite this, most studies reported that the computer games were enjoyed by the children, helped them to felt more confident about their abilities, and provided them with an opportunity to engage with their peers.

Note: This information is produced by PenCRU researchers and reviewed by external experts. The views expressed are those of PenCRU at the University of Exeter Medical School and do not represent the views of the Cerebra charity, or any other parties mentioned. We strongly recommend seeking medical advice before undertaking any treatments/therapies.