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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Improving Life Through Video Games

A couple of interesting positive video game stories.

An engineering team at Rutgers University have modified a popular home video game system to help people with cerebral palsy improve hand functions.

According to ScienceDaily in the article Modified Home Video Game Shows Promise for Improving Hand Function in Teens With Cerebral Palsy a team has modified a Sony PlayStation 3 Console, a virtual glove and customer software to provide exercises and activities to improve hand and finger movement. Here is some of the article:
Based on early experience, the system engages the interest of teens with cerebral palsy and makes it convenient for them to perform the exercises they need to achieve results," said Grigore Burdea, professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Rutgers Tele-Rehabilitation Institute.

Each system communicated via the Internet to allow the Indiana and Rutgers researchers to oversee participants' exercise routines and evaluate the effectiveness of the systems. The system is an example of both virtual rehabilitation, where patients interact with computer-generated visual environments to perform exercises, and tele-rehabilitation, where patients perform exercises under remote supervision by physical or occupational therapists.

In another story, researchers at University of Granada in Spain found that video games can have a "positive effect in a child’s educational development and academic performance, when used in moderation."

The study investigated whether attitudes of users toward video games and how they use them have a significant impact on certain cognitive tasks. The researchers specifically targeted brain skills in spatial intelligence, self-efficacy and academic performance...

The researcher of the study, Angeles Llorca, thinks that video games can represent “a very useful pedagogical tool” to encourage self-efficacy, a variable that improves academic performance. Therefore, it is necessary to encourage parents, teachers and advisers to get acquainted with this type of entertainment technology, which they should consider as part of visual communication. Likewise, motivation of children to play video games should be used as a pedagogical tool in the field of education.

Check out the article Video Games (in Moderation) May Help Teens for yourself.

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1 comment:

MediTouch said...

The major component of dedicated rehabilitation software is the functionality to allow the therapist and patient at home to customize the games to their disability or handicap. All aspects of the exercise task have to be customizable to the patients' motor, sensory and cognitive ability. Therefore parameters such as the difficulty of the exercise task relative to the patients movement ability and the maximum time to play for the game needs to be under the therapist's control. At the same time, the software has to motivate and challenge the patient to perform repetitive practice. The MediTouch HandTutor is a rehabilitation glove and software which offers impairment oriented training and augmented feedback. The HandTutor provides repetitive customized isolated or inter joint coordinated finger and wrist hand exercises and rehabilitates fine movements of the hand and wrist through motivating games.