Lessons Learned in Designing a Digital Therapeutic Game to Support the Treatment and Well-Being of Children with Cancer

  • Kamila R. H. RodriguesEmail author
  • Daniel B. F. Conrado
  • Vânia P. A. Neris
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10920)


Therapeutic games not only entertain but also support rehabilitation treatments and help patients and caregivers to understand the therapeutic practices. This kind of game requires careful and responsible development. To the best of our knowledge, there is no variety of methodologies in the literature specifically tailored to develop them. It essentially requires collaborative creation between different domain specialists. Moreover, it is necessary to avoid ad-hoc design processes and favor the structured ones, which can effectively involve and guide stakeholders. Thus, we have adopted a methodology based on Participatory Design and Organizational Semiotics artifacts to guide the design of a therapeutic game that could entertain and inform children who were diagnosed with cancer, as well as their caregivers. The methodology includes the enrichment of Personas, aiming to characterize the intended audience of the therapeutic application. This paper presents an instantiation of such methodology and also describes how the information obtained during that process can aid on therapeutic games design aiming to support the rehabilitation of children under treatment for cancer. We also report some lessons learned from that instantiation, regarding both the methodology application and the specificities of the target audience that should be carefully considered when developing games to support chronic pathologies, especially those involving children.


Digital therapeutic games Childhood cancer Design process Personas Participatory Design Lessons learned 



The authors would like to thank the healthcare professionals of the Hospital do Câncer de Barretos on the effective participation and contributions to this research project. We would like to thank the UEMG’s Dean of Extension for the financial support and also to scientific initiation students involved.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kamila R. H. Rodrigues
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel B. F. Conrado
    • 2
  • Vânia P. A. Neris
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceFederal University of São Carlos – UFSCarSão CarlosBrazil
  2. 2.Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Minas Gerais – IFMG, Campus SabaráSabaráBrazil

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