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Good For Fibromyalgia

Finding games to support and ease the challenges of illness, disorders and disabilities can be a time-consuming task. We have been working with experts in many fields to help individuals identify games they can enjoy, and potentially even benefit from.

We've worked with Fibromyalgia UK, and Andrew Hardy (andyhardy360) who lives with Fibromyalgia, to identify some searches that return useful games for Fibromyalgia sufferers. As stated on its website, "people with chronic pain conditions have often used distraction techniques as a diversion from their pain. An increasing number of people with fibro use gaming for enjoyment and as a distraction to cope with and manage their pain."

Andrew described one of his symptoms as fingers feeling like they were stuck together and being painful to move. This means that games that offer button or keyboard remapping are a good place to start, as the inputs can be configured to suit his varying digit mobility. Also, games you can play with fewer buttons can be good.

This also means that vibration is an important consideration. Games that use sudden and strong vibrations can cause Andrew pain and make it hard to keep playing. But also, he mentioned that games that offer softer and more continuous vibration can actually offer a welcome massaging experience. Games like Lonely Mountains Downhill or Rhythm Doctor are good examples of this.

Andrew also described the symptom of "fibro fog" as he described it. Not being able to think clearly or quickly. This means that games that offer really clear mission guidance and navigation assistance are helpful to get him on his way.

The unpredictability of his pain means that Andrew often needs to stop playing unexpectedly. This means that games that let you save where you are without losing progress are another good aspect to consider.

We put these requirements together to create a custom search for Andrew, games with the following features:

  • "Large Clear Navigation"
  • "Save Anytime"
  • "Head-Up Display Navigation"
  • "Vibration Optional"

You can use this as a starting point or create your own search from scratch on the game browser page of the database. We've also picked out some games that these searches return and provided them in this list below.

One reader, Angela Hickman Newnham, who suffers from chronic pain and fibro, said: "Video games are an important part of distraction from pain for me. Things that are important are not having rapid button presses and flow/pacing of the game. Lots of games work for me, depending on how bad of a flare! I am often weighing the value of distraction vs effect on symptoms. Currently playing Hades, which is hard on my hands but the adaptive difficulty (God Mode) makes it playable. It's helped me through 2 really rough weeks because of short play sessions of less than 1 hour and the rewards cycle that keeps me engaged."

A good search for Angela could be games with the following:
  • Played in Short Rounds
  • "Unfailable"
  • "Rapid Repeated Pressing Optional"

This list includes 16 games from the last 26 years, with 939 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to distract yourself from pain.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 18
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Australian Ratings: G to MA 15+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Brain Game, Collecting, Communication, Creative, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Platform, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Race, Rhythm, Role-Play, Sequencing, Shooting, Simulation, Sports, Stealth, Strategy and Traversal
Total Likes: 939
 

 

Iris and the Giant

Release Date: 27/02/2020, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC and Switch

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Pieces: Cards

Iris and the Giant is a narrative strategy card game about a young girl named Iris who braves an imaginary world to tackle her inner demons and face her fears. It's a game about depression and anxiety and shows Iris coping with her life with escapism,...

Lonely Mountains Downhill

Release Date: 22/10/2019

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Lonely Mountains Downhill is a racing game where you traverse a mountain on a bike. Make your way through thick forests, narrow trails and wild rivers. Race, jump, slide and try not to crash all the way from the peak to the valley. You choose your route...

Chicory: A Colorful Tale

Release Date: 10/06/2021, updated in 2021

Platforms: Mac, PC, PS4, PS5 and Switch

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Chicory: A Colourful Tale is an adventure where you play an everyday dog thrust into the role of wielding a magic brush. The world starts black and white and you paint to solve puzzles, help your animal friends and restore colour. It looks like a...

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure

Release Date: 11/12/2020

Platforms: Apple TV, Mac, PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 5+ year-olds

Alba: A Wildlife Adventure is an adventure game where you play as a young girl who starts a wildlife conservation club. When Alba visits her grandparents on a Mediterranean island, she is excited for a summer of exploring with her friend Ines. But when...

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

Release Date: 03/03/2017

Platforms: Switch and Wii U

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

The Legend of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild departs from the previous Zelda formula with the scale and depth of its world. You walk, fly, ride and climb your way through a landscape that varies in climate, terrain, inhabitants and vegetation. Weather and...

Roki

Release Date: 23/07/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 8+ year-olds

Röki is a Scandinavian folklore point-and-click style adventure game where you play Tove on a journey to save her family. As you help her to come to terms with loss, you explore deep into a snowy fairytale landscape with strange locations and creatures.

Minecraft

Release Date: 23/11/2017, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, Amazon Fire, Android, Mac, PC, PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One and iOS

Skill Rating: 6+ year-olds

Although Minecraft – where players place blocks to build structures, sculpt the landscape and create adventures – is the best-selling game of all time, some of the best aspects of it are little known. Along with the exploration, building and...

Subnautica Below Zero (Series)

Release Date: 30/01/2019, updated in 2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Subnautica: Below Zero is an open-world adventure game that follows the original game, Subnautica. You play a scientist on an alien planet searching for clues about the research team that vanished there. What develops is a light...

Heaven's Vault

Release Date: 16/04/2019

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

In Heaven’s Vault you play an archaeologist translating an ancient alien language whose decrypting weaves through an unfolding drama. While doing real linguistic work you interact with companions and locals. Your choices can open or close vast swathes...

Forza Horizon 4 (Series)

Release Date: 25/09/2018

Platforms: PC, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds

Forza Horizon 4 is a thrilling racing game where you race all manner of vehicles across a wide range of landscapes. This fourth iteration is set in the United Kingdom, with Edinburgh’s narrow streets, the Lake District’s hills and rainfall and the...

Dirt (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/2007, updated in 2020

Platforms: DS, PS2, PS3, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Skill Rating: 9+ year-olds

Dirt 5 is the latest game in a series of the extreme sports racing game. Like Forza Horizon or the older MotorStorm games, the series focuses on exuberance and party atmosphere rather than just...

Gran Turismo (Series)

Release Date: 01/01/1997, updated in 2017

Platforms: PS3, PS4 and PSP

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Gran Turismo is a driving simulator that focuses on a photo-realistic driving experience. Players race real-world cars where bodywork and interiors are perfectly modelled. Whether hatchbacks or super cars, this game lets you step into the world of the...

Assassin's Creed Identity

Release Date: 25/02/2016

Platforms: Android and iOS

Assassin's Creed Identity is an action-adventure video game that takes the city exploration, combat and narrative adventure to mobile devices. Set during the Italian Renaissance, you explore Rome, Firenze, and Monteriggioni as one of four different...

Rhythm Doctor

Release Date: 26/02/2021

Platforms: PC

Rhythm Doctor is a rhythm game about shocking patients' hearts back in sync with their heartbeats to save their lives. You press a single button on the 7th beat to defibrillate each patient. It sounds simple but each level has a unique illnesses based...

The Outer Worlds

Release Date: 23/10/2020

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One

The Outer Worlds is a futuristic role-playing game where you are a colonist working to thaw your team and colonise the planet. Exploring, talking, shooting; how you do this is up to you, in what soon becomes a tangle plot of corporate control and...

Luck Be A Landlord

Release Date: 06/10/2020

Platforms: Mac and PC

Luck Be a Landlord is a simulation game where you collect symbols to build the ultimate slot machine, win lots of money, and defeat capitalism. You choose the tokens like deck building games, then have repeated attempts to win money like a rogue-like...

Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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