Games in Healthcare

FWD News: Rehabilitation Assisted by Video Game Technology

A Stroke Patient Playing Wii Sports BoxingResearchers from the School of Computing and Information Engineering at the University of Ulster have launched the Games for Rehabilitation project which focuses on video games for the rehabilitation of upper limbs in patients recovering from strokes.

The research project looks at players using their hands and arms to touch targets which move around a screen, tracking their movements with a webcam. Responding to this interaction, the games provide positive feedback on the patients' performance with the system. Designed to be accessible to inexperienced videogame players, the games will also include some the best practices of the medium to be as engaging as possible. Read More...

FWD News: Games Minimizing Effects of ADHD, Cerebral Palsy and Autism

Play Attention LogoAttention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) patients will soon have a new tool available to them to help them improve their ability to focus. Entitled Play Attention, the system includes gaming software and a helmet loaded with electroencephalogram (EEG) sensors that interpret the player’s brain waves. Only used in laboratory settings until now the system is being introduced across the UK in January 2010 by Games for Life.

The system has a child playing a fun educational computer game and wearing the EEG helmet. Picking up the child’s brain activity waves related to attention, the game is played without physical controls. As long as the player concentrates they control the game, but drops in attention will make the game stop. Read More...

FWD News: Research Shows Games Strengthen Cognitive Skills

An Active BrainTwo recent studies outline the power that video games can have to sharpen thinking and reasoning skills. Led by Dr. Rolf Nelson, psychology professor at Wheaton College in Norton, MA, the first study looked at 20 students to see the impact of playing either action or puzzle games on their performance of a spatial-location task.

The researcher found that playing action games for an hour largely increased cognitive speed while playing puzzle games improve cognitive accuracy in the participants. The findings appear in the December issue of the journal Perception. Read More...

European Gamers Staying Active with Wii

A Screenshot from CyberbikeThe United Kingdom Department of Health has officially endorsed Wii Fit Plus as part of its Change4Life campaign. Nintendo is expected to use the Change4Life branding in ads and on packaging, reminding consumers of this official support.

“Active video games, where kids need to jump up and down or dance about as part of the game, are a great way to get kids moving more,” said a Department of Health spokesperson. “Little bits of activity like this throughout the day can easily add up to the 60 active minutes kids need”. Read More...