Researchers at the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing, Baylor Scott & White Health and UT Dallas have developed a simulation game that teaches doctors and nurses to work more collaboratively and to avoid conflicts that can bottleneck patient care. The game puts participants in tense situations in a virtual world so that they can learn how best to avoid those situations in the real world.
AbleGamers Founder Mark Barlet announced during his SXSW speech this weekend that the first Canadian Game Accessibility Lab (or AbleGamers Accessibility Arcade) will be hosted by the University of Toronto. The arcade will include the "most up-to-date technology and controllers designed to enable gamers with disabilities access to today’s most popular video games," according to AbleGamers. It will be hosted by the Semaphore Research Cluster, which is part of the iSchool (Faculty of Information), on a permanent basis.
The Neurotechnology Industry Organization announced that the NeuroGaming Conference & Expo will return to San Francisco May 7-8 with a line-up of high profile speakers, new exhibitors, and even a gamejam to make this year's event memorable. In its second year, the NeuroGaming Conference focuses on the convergence of mind and body with game play using all kinds of cutting-edge technology including virtual reality, neurosensing, motion and gesture control, augmented reality, haptics, eye tracking, facial recognition and more.
AbleGamers Charity Founder and Executive Director, Mark Barlet, will deliver a keynote at SXSW this month. Bartlet's speech will be delivered at the SXSW Long Center March 8, 2014 from 12:30 – 1:30. All SXSW participants are welcome and the talk itself is open to the public. AbleGamers encourages all developers and gamers to attend. A brief Q & A will be held after the event.
After playing an educational video game for just 15 minutes children understood what do if someone was having a stroke, according to new research reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. Researchers tested 210 9- and 10-year-old "low-income children" from the Bronx, New York, on whether they could identify a stroke and knew to call 9-1-1 if they saw someone having one. Researchers then tested the children again after they played a stroke education video game called Stroke Hero.
Yale University's Play2Prevent lab is using a grant from the Women’s Health Research at the Yale Pilot Program to create a game that teaches about effective ways to reduce HIV infections among young African American women. The team will spend this year working with groups of black teens and 20-year-olds to design a game that will be "relevant, entertaining and a model for future public health projects."
The Ad Council, the country’s largest producer of public service advertising, has created and released its first in-house game called Toothsavers. The game is designed to encourage children to brush their teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day. The game was developed with the aid and input of Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives.
Video games - particularly those that promote activities such as dancing (think Dance, Dance Revolution, or any Zumba game) can help women of all ages fight against incontinence, according to new research coming out of Canada and Switzerland. According to a study published in Neurology and Urodynamics conducted by Canadian and Swiss researchers, women suffering from urinary incontinence that added a regular regimen of dance exercises (using popular interactive video games) saw an improvement in pelvic floor muscle strength.
The AbleGamers Charity said today that it was able to raise over $100,000 for the first time in its history, in 2013. The charity said that these donations were made possible with the help of a lot of companies and community based fundraising effort. Community-based fundraisers such as Minethon and PAX-E, corporate donations from Paradox and IndieGala, dozens of individual streamers, and an increasing awareness in the gaming and disability communities have helped propel the charity to a new level coming into 2014, according to AbleGamers.
Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is using video games created by Akili Interactive Labs in a clinical trial with Alzheimer’s patients to see if it can help detect the early signs of the disease. Pfizer plans to conduct a clinical trial with 100 elderly participants with and without "the presence of amyloid in their brains, based on Positron Emission Tomography imaging," according to a company statement.
Recently the "Take This Project" was quietly relaunched as "Take This," along with a new website at www.takethis.org. Take This is a support group for gamers (though it doesn't specifically exclude those people who do not identify themselves as gamers), games journalists, game developers, and other industry professionals that suffer from depression, anxiety and other challenges associated with mental illness.
The AbleGamers Charity has achieved a core goal "milestone in its nine-year history" today by launching a grant program to provide people with disabilities crucial assistive technology year-round. Today the charity announced that the AbleGamers Grant Program will now be open year-round. People who have difficulties accessing video games through normal controllers can apply for a grant and will be evaluated on an individual need basis.
New research shows that on average kids need an extra 90 seconds to run a mile than kids did way back in 1975. Researchers blame increased body weight, a lack of exercise, and sedentary lifestyles that involve video games, mobile devices, and television. An analysis of studies on 250 million children from around the world finds that they don't run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young.
Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical Center have been awarded a $4.5 million grant to study the effectiveness of video games and technology in creating more independence in young people suffering from spinal cord dysfunction and neuro-developmental disabilities.
While details on the study are thin, we do know that the $4.5 million grant comes from U.S. Department of Education's National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research and will be doled out over a five-year period.
A new treatment for patients who suffer from schizophrenia is being developed and field tested by University College London. According to Julian Leff, the University College London psychiatrist who developed the program, the treatment puts a face on the destructive and negative voices that schizophrenia patients sometimes hear and allows them the opportunity to confront that personality.
University of Saskatchewan computer science PhD student Kathrin Gerling is designing video games specifically for the benefit of senior citizens. Gerling, who loves video games, wants to combine her love for her hobby with her passion for her community by working with seniors in local nursing homes to make accessible games. Gerling was inspired to do this by a number of studies that showed that seniors who play games gain mental and physical benefits from them.
Surgeons at Florida Hospital Celebration Health in Kissimmee, Florida spend six minutes playing Super Monkey Ball on the Gamecube prior to conducting surgery because it makes them less likely to make mistakes. The Orlando Sentinel highlights the game-playing surgeons in a recent article and explains why it is important for giving patients better care and a safer experience when undergoing surgery.
The AbleGamers Charity has opened the very first-of-its-kind "AbleGamers Lab" for gamers with special needs. Located at its headquarters just outside of Washington DC, the AbleGamers laboratory features all of the latest top-end gaming devices and assistive technology set up to enable those with disabilities to play video games. Use of the lab is free but by appointment only, with the average appointment lasting 1 - 2 hours depending on the case.
Modern television shows, movies, and even video games tend to use mental illness in a negative way when it comes to the horror genre. This portrayal of those who suffer from mental illnesses as potential, uncontrollable monsters inspired this article on Kotaku ("Nobody Wins When Horror Games Stigmatize Mental Illness") urging game developers to help reduce the stigma of mental illness by not using those with problems as vehicles for uncontrollable violence.
This week Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by Jeremy Powers (who you may know better here on GamePolitics as 'Zen'), who talks about the feel-good story of this past week: finally being able to play video games with his daughter. Using the second screen of the Wii U, Jeremy's daughter Jennifer (who has a vision impairment) was finally able to play New Super Luigi U with her family using the GamePad as her own personal screen.
Ryan Green announced that his game about the trials and tribulations of raising a child suffering from cancer is launching exclusively on the OUYA in 2014. Green says that he chose to launch That Dragon, Cancer exclusively on the Android-based platform because the platform holder has pledged to help with development costs and ensure that the game gets made.
Researchers from the University of B.C. are using a simple game to find new ways to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Miriam Spering, an assistant professor in the department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of B.C., led research to determine the disconnect between vision and the information the brain collects to solve problems.
Guitar Hero co-inventors Kai and Charles Huang are working on a new project through their new company Blue Goji that will make active gaming a lot more interesting. Blue Goji hopes to make exercising a regular habit for more people by using fun games to distract them while they work out. The startup, which was quietly founded in late 2011, will start talking about its plans this week, but AllThingsD has the first details on what the duo have been working on.
UK-based charity Cancer Research UK has hired Dundee, Scotland-based game developer Guerilla Tea to build its first mobile phone game designed to help pinpoint new genetic causes of cancer and accelerate potential new cures. Cancer Research UK's scientists will work closely with Guerilla Tea to develop a game (working title "GeneGame") that will allow anyone with a smart phone to help analyze gene data. We assume that the game will be fun in some way to encourage more engagement. The game will launch in the UK later this year.
A new study coming out of Australia says that video games are great for combating sedentary time after school and making small improvements in physical activity levels - if the only ones you play are "active games." Leon Straker, PhD, of Curtin University in Perth, Australia led a team to conduct a crossover trial study to see how the effectiveness of active games could be maximized. One of the best ways was to remove all other kinds of games that did not require the user to get up and move. Removing all video games from the home of participants had similar results.
According to new research, recovering stroke patients who use video games as a therapeutic exercise are more physically capable of movement compared to patients who use traditional motor therapy. The research comes from Dr. Rebbie Rand, an occupational therapist of Tel Aviv University's Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine; and a team of researchers from Sheba Medical Center. The research was funded by a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant.
The AbleGamers Charity and Minicore Studios have teamed up to launch a round of grants to purchase assistive gaming technology for gamers of any age with disabilities. This initiative, called the "Summer of Fun program," allows gamers of any age with a disability the ability to apply for a grant to buy assistive technology to aid gaming. The Summer of Fun grant program will be accepting requests for equipment until July 31, 2013.
The ninth annual Games For Health Conference kicks off today in Boston, Massachusetts and runs until June 28. The event focuses on how video games and videogame technologies can be used to promote health issues and be used in practical ways by medical professionals to treat illnesses, help patients with wellness, and be used to conduct research. Video games and gaming-like technologies are gaining popularity among doctors, schools, therapists and consumers who are playing games that are explicitly designed to help them lead healthier lives.