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Serious games are not serious enough for myoelectric prosthetics

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christian Garske, Dr Matthew DysonORCiD, Dr Sigrid Dupan, Professor Graham MorganORCiD, Professor Kianoush Nazarpour



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© Christian Alexander Garske, Matthew Dyson, Sigrid Dupan, Graham Morgan, Kianoush Nazarpour. Originally published in JMIR Serious Games (, 08.11.2021. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.Serious games show a lot of potential for use in movement rehabilitation (eg, after a stroke, injury to the spinal cord, or limb loss). However, the nature of this research leads to diversity both in the background of the researchers and in the approaches of their investigation. Our close examination and categorization of virtual training software for upper limb prosthetic rehabilitation found that researchers typically followed one of two broad approaches: (1) focusing on the game design aspects to increase engagement and muscle training and (2) concentrating on an accurate representation of prosthetic training tasks, to induce task-specific skill transfer. Previous studies indicate muscle training alone does not lead to improved prosthetic control without a transfer-enabling task structure. However, the literature shows a recent surge in the number of game-based prosthetic training tools, which focus on engagement without heeding the importance of skill transfer. This influx appears to have been strongly influenced by the availability of both software and hardware, specifically the launch of a commercially available acquisition device and freely available high-profile game development engines. In this Viewpoint, we share our perspective on the current trends and progress of serious games for prosthetic training.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Garske CA, Dyson M, Dupan S, Morgan G, Nazarpour K

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: JMIR Serious Games

Year: 2021

Volume: 9

Issue: 4

Online publication date: 08/11/2021

Acceptance date: 25/08/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2291-9279

Publisher: JMIR Publications Inc.


DOI: 10.2196/28079