Gaming may sometimes be seen as a pastime which subverts the mind of players but a conference in Nottingham later this year aims to show how they can make a positive difference to people's lives.

The annual Interactive Technologies and Games is calling for academic papers which focus on how people with disablilities can benefit from games.

It will look at the issues of accessibility and rehabilitation while also looking at gaming's impact on education, health and welfare.

Among the topics being discussed will be the social and collaborative aspects of games including how Massively Multiplayer Online Games can help pensioners.

It will also study learning theory, pedagogy and instructional design in games, handheld learning in the classroom, serious games for clinical assessment, rehabilitation and treatment, using contemporary games controllers to create new opportunities in health and rehabilitation applications and alternative input modalities to games for people with disabilities.

Professor David Brown, Nottingham Trent University lecturer and Conference Chair for ITAG, said, “One of the main aims of the conference, along with the research it aims to disseminate, is accessibility - in games, in assistive technologies and this includes welcoming practitioners and user communities to the conference to share their own work in these fields and to talk about their research needs, and how these can be realised by finding research partners at the conference.”

The conference, held by Nottingham Trent University, will take place on October 23 and 24 at the Nottingham Conference Centre as part of the annual GameCity event.

Iain Simons, Nottingham Trent University lecturer and GameCity Director, said: “ITAG provides a rich, vital new seam of activity and perspective to the GameCity festival, anchoring it to an academic and social agenda which amplifies the activities we already pursue.“