Organizers of the 2013 Games For Health Conference revealed two additional keynotes joining its slate of activities taking place in Boston, Ma. June 27 - 28. Palmer Luckey, Founder OculusVR will deliver a keynote address entitled "Healing and Health with Virtual Reality" which will explore the possible future uses of the company's virtual reality hardware in the medical field.
A new study published in the scientific journal Obesity finds that active games or exergaming are a good way for children to lose weight. The goal of the study, "Adolescent Exergame Play for Weight Loss and Psychosocial Improvement: A Controlled Physical Activity Intervention," was to find effective ways to encourage youngsters to be more physically active through video gaming. Researchers Sandra Calvert, Ph.D.
Researchers at McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) have found that the popular puzzle game Tetris can be used to treat adult amblyopia, commonly known as "lazy eye." The method of treatment is drastically different because normally treatments involve patching one eye to make the uncovered eye work harder. Using Tetris, researchers found that both are used to work together to keep up with the fast-paced puzzle game.
Children and teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use screen-based media, such as television and video games, more often than their typically developing peers and are more likely to develop problematic video game habits, according to research conducted by Micah Mazurek, an assistant professor of health psychology and a clinical child psychologist at the University of Missouri.
The AbleGamers Foundation has won two award from the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Society) for its work on creating guidelines that aid game developers in making their games easier to use for those with various physical disabilities. The MS society has awarded the AbleGamers Foundation two awards including the da Vinci award for best product in communication/educational aids for its Includification game accessibility guidelines, and the Leo for People’s Choice.
Javier Mairena of The Game Kitchen dropped us a note to let us know that the first episode of its horror adventure game series The Last Door has been revamped to make it a little friendlier to those with hearing impairments and dyslexia. Javier says that his studio has added dyslexic-friendly fonts in the game as well as close captions for those with hearing impairments.
The first episode in the episodic horror adventure series launched on March 11 on www.thelastdoor.com. It is titled "The Letter."
Michael Langlois, a licensed Psychotherapist, speaker, defender of video games, and author of the book "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy," will be hosting an interesting one-man panel at PAX East called "Rethinking Game Addiction."
Ultimately the discussion is meant to challenge the mainstream thinking on game addiction and to explore the mental health benefits of playing video games - even violent ones. From the description at the Pax East web site:
In the latest issue of the science journal Nature two neuroscientists say that their colleagues should work with game developers to help create games that can be used to boost brain function and improve well-being. Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester and Richard J.
A new game called Depression Quest hopes to raise awareness about the challenges of someone living with depression by using interactive fiction as its medium. The browser-based game was created by Zoe Quinn and Patrick Lindsey and puts players in the shoes of a 20-something as they struggle with their emotions and make daily choices that can either help get them out of their depression or send them spiraling into a state of deep despair.
The developers describe the game as follow:
The AbleGamers Foundation has partnered with Paradox Interactive to help bring video game accessibility to the Penny Arcade Expo East (PAX-E) in Boston, Massachusetts. Each year, the AbleGamers Accessibility Arcade displays the latest assistive technology for gamers with disabilities to play today’s top games with just a little help.
A recent profile of Mike Langlois, a clinical social worker in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of the eBook "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy" by Psychotherapy Networker (part of its Clinician's Digest III), makes the case for psychologists and mental health professionals to learn more about video games and even play them if they can.
The AbleGamers Foundation has released its annual holiday gift guide for those shoppers with loved ones and family members that are gamers who have a disability. This year's guide, located here, offers nearly a dozen items ranging from technology and peripherals to accessible video games with low prices for those on a tight budget.
Longtime readers will recognize Re-Mission. It's that Games for Health game in which you play a microscopic nanobot who cruises the innards of fictional cancer patients in search of nasty old cancer cells to battle. It was created by Hope Lab to be played by young cancer patients and studies have shown positive effects such as helping them adhere to medication.
What you may not realize is Re-Mission was released in 2005. That's right. This game almost eight-years-old and still in use today.
A British psychologist thinks that using video games can be a very effective tool in helping to treat Alzheimer's. Dr. John Harrison, a psychologist in the Department of Medicine at Imperial College, London shared his theories on the topic at the Games for Health Europe conference in Amsterdam this week, according to this Wall Street Journal report.
New research sponsored by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (also known as CARDI) suggest that using video games can help the elderly improve their balance and avoid falls that are often devastating and debilitating.
The AbleGamers Foundation announced this week that a permanent arcade designed specifically for gamers who have disabilities opens today. The arcade opened today at the Washington D.C. public library's main MLK branch. While the foundation has shown off its arcade concept before, it was a limited-time installation in the past. This new arcade will be a permanent fixture to the library, giving disabled gamers a place to try out games without having to worry about struggling with controls that are unusable due to their specific disabilities.
A new research paper from University of Utah Professor Carol Bruggers comes to the conclusion that video games can be therapeutic to patients suffering from a variety of illnesses including cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression, autism and Parkinson's disease. The new research paper, "Patient-Empowerment Interactive Technologies," has been published within the pages of the September 19 issue of the Science Translational Medicine journal.
CBS Cleveland News is reporting that 15-year-old Tyler Rigby has been hospitalized after a 4-day gaming marathon left him severely dehydrated. Reportedly, the Columbus teen locked himself in his room to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. According to his mother, he emerged for the occasional potty and snack break.
Researchers at Yale are developing a video game for the iPad that hopes to prevent HIV infection among ethnic minority adolescents through the use of interactive entertainment. Their research is based on the entire process appears in Games for Health, a new journal focused on using game technology as a tool for improving health and well-being.
Researchers at Deakin University (Melbourne, Australia) have come to the conclusion that pre-school aged children who play interactive video games (such as those found on the Wii) have better motor skills than those children who do not regularly play interactive games. Deakin University researchers and a researcher form the University of Wollongong conducted a pilot study in 2009 of 53 pre-schoolers ages three to six years old (31 girls, 22 boys) to determine if there was some sort of association between playing games and the fundamental movement skills of children.
The AbleGamers Foundation will demonstrate the AbleGamers’ Accessibility Arcade at Abilities Expo at the Schaumburg Convention Center in Chicago on June 29 to July 1. In its 30th year, the Abilities Expo focuses on improving the lives of people with disabilities, their families, caregivers and healthcare professionals across the country. The Expo features three days of workshops, demonstrations and displays of cutting-edge products and services.
The National Institute for Health is offering a grant to small indie game developers who are willing to partner with clinical neuroscientists to create game software that advances neuropsychotherapy and technologies that can be used to improve cognitive processes. While the grant only funds phase I and II research, but the goal is to quickly develop and commercialize successful studies.
Ben Sawyer, the director of Games For Health, passed along a note to remind everyone that the 8th Annual Games for Health Conference in Boston, MA at the Hyatt Harboside Hotel is coming up fast. Online registration for the event that takes place June 12-14 closes at the end of the day on Friday, June 8. You can register for the event here until that time.
For many physicians, prescribing painkillers can be a dicey prospect. The desire to help people in pain can sometimes conflict with the possibility that the patient may be abusing his or her prescription drugs. So what can help health care professionals distinguish between patients who have a legitimate need for pain medication and those out to abuse it?
I’ll give you a hint – this blog is titled GamePolitics.