FWD News: Innovation in Video Game Controllers

A Thermoelectric ControllerWhether used in a medical or accessible setting, video game controllers continue to see their uses diversify as they become more advanced. In one case, doctors are using what looks like a typical game controller to do sensitive heart surgery. The Sensei X Robotic Catheter was developed by Hansen Medical to integrate 3D visualization and motor controls into an innovative new medical tool.

Specialists working with the Sensei system first practice on video simulated hearts and later use the same technology to operate on real patients. Dr. Andrew Kaplan, a Cardiac Electrophysiologist with the Banner Heart Hospital is one of these specialists. According to Kaplan, Sensei’s biggest advantage is that it is less invasive, more successful, and allows for quicker recovery times than traditional surgery. Read More...

Students Aim to Make Wii More Accessible

A Photo of Lindsey KennellEngineering and occupational therapy students from the University of New Hampshire, as well as its group of therapeutic recreation specialists, Northeast Passage, are helping a former women's high school basketball forward to get back into the game. In this case, using the Wii.

In 2006 Lindsey Kennell, a Dover High School senior, was involved in a severe car accident that left her without use of her legs or left arm and only minimal control of her right. She and her family later approached Northeast Passage in hopes of finding new ways to socialize and spend time with her friends in her post-accident state. Read More...

Study Finds Casual Games Popular Among Disabled Players

PopCap Games LogoAn Information Solutions Group survey conducted on behalf of PopCap Games revealed a strong trend in casual gaming among physically, mentally or developmentally disabled individuals. They found that over 20 per cent of casual gamers live with some kind of disability.

The opinion research firm interviewed 13,296 casual game players, including 2,738 disabled gamers, between April 2 and 17, 2008. Over three quarters of them identified their disability as "moderate" or "severe”. The survey showed that those living with disabilities played casual games more often, for more hours every week and for longer periods of time each time than non-disabled individuals. Read More...