Dec 24, 2013

Effectiveness and feasibility of virtual reality and gaming system use at home by older adults for enabling physical activity to improve health-related domains: a systematic review

Effectiveness and feasibility of virtual reality and gaming system use at home by older adults for enabling physical activity to improve health-related domains: a systematic review.

Miller KJ, Adair BS, Pearce AJ, Said CM, Ozanne E, Morris MM. Age Ageing. 2013 Dec 17. [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND: use of virtual reality and commercial gaming systems (VR/gaming) at home by older adults is receiving attention as a means of enabling physical activity. OBJECTIVE: to summarise evidence for the effectiveness and feasibility of VR/gaming system utilisation by older adults at home for enabling physical activity to improve impairments, activity limitations or participation. METHODS: a systematic review searching 12 electronic databases from 1 January 2000-10 July 2012 using key search terms. Two independent reviewers screened yield articles using pre-determined selection criteria, extracted data using customised forms and applied the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool and the Downs and Black Checklist to rate study quality. RESULTS: fourteen studies investigating the effects of VR/gaming system use by healthy older adults and people with neurological conditions on activity limitations, body functions and physical impairments and cognitive and emotional well-being met the selection criteria. Study quality ratings were low and, therefore, evidence was not strong enough to conclude that interventions were effective. Feasibility was inconsistently reported in studies. Where feasibility was discussed, strong retention (≥70%) and adherence (≥64%) was reported. Initial assistance to use the technologies, and the need for monitoring exertion, aggravation of musculoskeletal symptoms and falls risk were reported. CONCLUSIONS: existing evidence to support the feasibility and effectiveness VR/gaming systems use by older adults at home to enable physical activity to address impairments, activity limitations and participation is weak with a high risk of bias. The findings of this review may inform future, more rigorous research.

Dec 21, 2013

Effectiveness and feasibility of virtual reality and gaming system use at home by older adults

Effectiveness and feasibility of virtual reality and gaming system use at home by older adults for enabling physical activity to improve health-related domains: a systematic review.

Age Ageing. 2013 Dec 17; Authors: Miller KJ, Adair BS, Pearce AJ, Said CM, Ozanne E, Morris MM

BACKGROUND: use of virtual reality and commercial gaming systems (VR/gaming) at home by older adults is receiving attention as a means of enabling physical activity. OBJECTIVE: to summarise evidence for the effectiveness and feasibility of VR/gaming system utilisation by older adults at home for enabling physical activity to improve impairments, activity limitations or participation. METHODS: a systematic review searching 12 electronic databases from 1 January 2000-10 July 2012 using key search terms. Two independent reviewers screened yield articles using pre-determined selection criteria, extracted data using customised forms and applied the Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias Tool and the Downs and Black Checklist to rate study quality. RESULTS: fourteen studies investigating the effects of VR/gaming system use by healthy older adults and people with neurological conditions on activity limitations, body functions and physical impairments and cognitive and emotional well-being met the selection criteria. Study quality ratings were low and, therefore, evidence was not strong enough to conclude that interventions were effective. Feasibility was inconsistently reported in studies. Where feasibility was discussed, strong retention (≥70%) and adherence (≥64%) was reported. Initial assistance to use the technologies, and the need for monitoring exertion, aggravation of musculoskeletal symptoms and falls risk were reported. CONCLUSIONS: existing evidence to support the feasibility and effectiveness VR/gaming systems use by older adults at home to enable physical activity to address impairments, activity limitations and participation is weak with a high risk of bias. The findings of this review may inform future, more rigorous research.

Nov 24, 2013

Call for papers IDGEI 2014 - International Workshop on Intelligent Games for Empowerment and Inclusion

Call for papers IDGEI 2014 - International Workshop on Intelligent Games for Empowerment and Inclusion - associated with "Intelligent User Interfaces IUI 2014"

2nd International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.

http://idgei2014.joanneum.at/

Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion possess the potential to change our society in a most positive way by preparing selected groups in a playful and fun way for their everyday life’s social and special situations. Exemplary domains span as far as from children with Autism Spectrum Condition to young adults preparing for their first job interviews or migrants familiarizing with their new environment. The current generation of such games thereby increasingly demands for computational intelligence algorithms to help analyze players’ behavior and monitor their motivation and interest to adapt game progress. The development of such games usually thus requires expertise from the general gaming domain, but in particular also from a game’s target domain, besides technological savoir-faire to provide intelligent analysis and reaction solutions. IDGEI 2014 aims at bridging across these communities and disciplines by inviting respective researchers and experts to discuss their latest perspectives and findings in the field of Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.

 Suggested workshop topics include, but are by no means limited to:

  • Machine Intelligence in Serious Games
  • Mobile and Real-World Serious Gaming
  • Emotion & Affect in Serious Games
  • Player Behavior and Attention Modeling
  • Player-Adaptation and Motivation
  • Security & Privacy Preservation
  • Novel Serious Games
  • User Studies & Tests of Serious Games

Paper submission deadline 4 December 2013.

Associated with International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces 2014.

For more info, download Call for Papers (PDF; 582 KB)

 

Mar 03, 2013

Call for papers - International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion

1st International Workshop on Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion

Website: http://idgei.fdg2013.org/
14 May 2013, Chania, Crete, Greece
chaired by Björn Schuller, Lucas Paletta, Nicolas Sabouret

Paper submission deadline: 11 March 2013

Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion possess the potential to change our society in a most positive way by preparing selected groups in a playful and fun way for their everyday life’s social and special situations. Exemplary domains span as far as from children with Autism Spectrum Condition to young adults preparing for their first job interviews or migrants familiarizing with their new environment. The current generation of such games thereby increasingly demands for computational intelligence algorithms to help analyze players’ behavior and monitor their motivation and interest to adapt game progress. The development of such games usually thus requires expertise from the general gaming domain, but in particular also from a game’s target domain, besides technological savoir-faire to provide intelligent analysis and reaction solutions. IDGEI 2013 aims at bridging across these communities and disciplines by inviting respective researchers and experts to discuss their latest perspectives and findings in the field of Intelligent Digital Games for Empowerment and Inclusion.

Suggested workshop topics include, but are by no means limited to:

- Machine Intelligence in Serious Games
- Mobile and Real-World Serious Gaming
- Emotion & Affect in Serious Games
- Player Behavior and Attention Modeling
- Player-Adaptation and Motivation
- Security & Privacy Preservation
- Novel Serious Games
- User Studies & Tests of Serious Games

Jul 05, 2012

Games as transpersonal technologies

When we think about video games, we generally think of them as computer programs designed to provide enjoyment and fun. However, the rapid evolution of gaming technologies, which includes advances in 3d graphics accelerator, stereoscopic displays, gesture recognition, wireless peripheals etc, is providing novel human-computer interaction opportunities that are able to engage players’ mind and bodies in totally new ways. Thanks to these features, games are increasingly used for purposes other than pure entertainment, such as in medical rehabilitation, psychotherapy, education and training.

However, “serious” applications of video games do not represent the most advanced frontier of their evolution. A new trend is emerging, which consists in designing video-games that are able to deliver emotionally-rich, memorable and “transformative” experiences. In this new type of games, there is no shooting, no monsters, no competition, no score accumulation: players are virtually transported into charming and evocative places, where they can make extraordinary encounters, challenge physical laws, or become another form of life. The most representative examples of this emerging trend are the games created by computer scientist Jenova Chen.

1_jenova1.jpg

J. Chen

Born in 1981 in Shangai, Chen holds a master's degree in the Interactive Media Program of the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California. He believes that for video games to become a mature medium like film, it is important to create games that are able to induce different emotional responses in the player than just excitement or fear.

This design philosophy is reflected in his award-winning games "Clound" "flOw" and "Flower". The first game, Cloud, was developed while Chen was still in college. The game is the story of a boy who dreams of flying through the sky while asleep in a hospital bed. The player controls of the sleeping boy's avatar and guides him through his dream of a small group of islands with a light gathering of clouds, which can be manipulated by the player in various ways.

The second game, flOw, is about piloting a small, snake-like creature through an aquatic environment where players consume other organisms, evolve, and advance their organisms to the abyss. Despite its apparent simplicity, the game was received very well by the audience, attracting 350,000 downloads within the first two weeks following its release. One of the most innovative feature of the flOw game is the implementation of the Dynamic Difficulty Adjustment process, which allows adapting the difficulty of the game to the player’s skill level.

In the third game developed by Chen and his collaborators, Flower, the player controls the wind as it blows a single flower petal through the air; approaching flowers results in the player's petal being followed by other flower petals. Getting closer to flowers affects other features of the virtual world, such as colouring previously dead fields, or activating stationary windmills. The final goal is to blow the breeze that carries color into every part of the gaming world, defeating the dinginess that surrounds the flowers in the city. The game includes no text or dialogue, but is built upon a narrative structure whose basic elements are visual representations and emotional cues.

Chen's last brainchild is Journey, where the player takes the role of a red-robed figure in a big desert populated by supernatural ruins. On the far horizon is a big mountain with a light beam shooting straight up into the sky, which becomes the natural destination of the adventure. While walking towards the mountain, the avatar can encounter other players, one at a time, if they are online; they cannot speak but can help each other in their journey if they wish. Again, as in the other three games, the scope of Journey is to provoke emotions and feelings that are difficult to find words to express, and that are able to produce memorable, inspiring experiences in the player.

Chen’s vision of gaming is rooted into Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory of Flow. According to Csikszentmihalyi, flow is a complex state of consciousness characterized by high levels of concentration and involvement in the task at hand, enjoyment, a positive affective state and intrinsic motivation. This optimal experience is usually associated with activities which involve individuals’ creative abilities. During flow, people typically feels "strong, alert, in effortless control, unselfconscious, and at the peak of their abilities. Both the sense of time and emotional problems seem to disappear, and there is an exhilarating feeling of transcendence…. With such goals, we learn to order the information that enters consciousness and thereby improve the quality of our lives.” (Csikszentmihalyi, M. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper Perennial, 1991).

The most interesting aspect in Chen’s design philosophy is the fact that his videogames are based on established psychological theories and are purposefully designed to support positive emotions and foster the development of consciousness. From this perspective, Chen’s videogames could be seen as advanced “transpersonal technologies”. As suggested by Roy Ascott, a transpersonal technology is any medium that “enables us to transform our selves, transfer our thoughts and transcend the limitations of our bodies. Transpersonal experience gives us insight into the interconnectedness of all things, the permeability and instability of boundaries, the lack of distinction between part and whole, foreground and background, context and content” (Ascott, R. 1995. The Architecture of Cyberception. In Toy. M. (Ed) Architects in Cyberspace. London Academy Editions, pp. 38-41).

ascott.jpg

Nov 06, 2011

About serious games

“Serious gaming” is a growing trend that is attracting the attention of the industry and the research community. Basically, a serious game is a virtual interactive simulation, in which players learn skills and competences that can be then applied in the “real” world.

The adjective “serious” refers to the fact that these games that are designed to not only entertain users, but have additional purposes such as solving a problem or promoting change at the individual/societal levels. By engaging in simulations of real situations, participants try to reach a the game’s goal by enacting specific strategies and behaviors.

Advocates of this approach claim that serious games foster motivation to learn, offer immediate feedback, support skills development and facilitate knowledge transfer. In addition, by playing in a virtual world users can experience their own actions to be effective, thereby gaining a feeling of self-efficacy. However, these claims have received so far little empirical evidence because research in this field is still in its infancy; in particular, few studies exist to date that have assessed the effectiveness of serious games beyond usability evaluation.

The aims of serious games can be various, ranging from business training, educational or social campaigns and promotional activities. Ben Sawyer and Peter Smith have proposed a taxonomy of serious games  which include the following categories:

  • Games for Health
  • Advergames
  • Games for Training
  • Games for Education
  • Games for Science and Research
  • Production, and Games as Work

Games for health are used to improve public health education, assist rehabilitation/therapy and enhance wellness. An example is SnowWorld, a virtual reality pain distraction game for burn patients developed by Hunter Hoffman and David Patterson (video)

Advergames (a portmanteau of "advertising" and "gaming") are used to advertise a product, organization or viewpoint. Games for training are designed to train employees in variety of domains, including commerce, business, industry, emergency services, and the military. For example, Luca Chittaro and colleagues at the HCI lab of University of Udine have created a a 3D game for improving decision making skills of nurses working in ambulance services (video).

Games for education are games that combine education and entertainment in order to teach people about a certain subject, expand concepts, reinforce development, understand an historical event or culture, or assist them in learning a skill as they play” (source: Wikipedia). Ratan and Ritterfeld (2009) reviewed a total of 612 educational games and provided a classification along four dimensions:

  • primary educational content;
  • primary learning principle;
  • target age group;
  • platform.

In this paper published on the Journal for Computer Game Culture, Johannes Breuer and Gary Bente provide an in-depth discussion on the relationship between serious games and learning.

Games for Science and Research have the specific purpose of helping scientists in processing complex data (i.e. the Folding at Home project, video) or improving the public understanding of science.

Another example is Power of Research, a free online strategy game designed to inspire more European young people to choose research careers. The category Production include games designed for supporting the development/manufacturing of new products. Finally, Games as Work refers to games that players use to earn money or other type of material rewards (i.e. professional gamers, games designed to collect funds or donations).

In sum, interactive serious games represent an interesting new trend in HCI which has several implications for cyberpsychology research and practice. Actually, although serious games are proliferating and applied in a number of different domains, several issues remain to be addressed concerning their design and evaluation. Research topics that are relevant to the field of cyberpsychology include, for example, the definition of methods/procedures/guidelines for assessing games outcomes and the elaboration of underlying theories (i.e. Flow, Presence etc.) that explain psychological mechanisms elicited through serious game play.

More to explore

Here, we provide a list of web resources related to serious games.

  • Serious Games Initiative is a site focused on uses for games in exploring management and leadership challenges facing the public sector.
  • Serious Game Classification This site provides collaborative classification system suited to Serious Games, based on multiple criterias. The games are classified according to their gameplay, their purposes, their markets and target audience, alongside with user-contributed keywords.
  • Ludus Project is the website of the EU-funded project LUDUS, which aims at creating a European network for the transfer of knowledge and dissemination of best practices in the innovative field of Serious Games.
  • Serious Games Market is a blog providing information about recent market trends in the field of serious gaming.
  • Serious Games Conference is a conference that explore the world of serious games.
  • Serious Games Summit focuses on the application of videogames in training, health, education, behavior change, science, advertising, and general productivity.

15:16 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0)

Feb 19, 2010

Evoke: Positive Game presented at TED 2010

In this video from the TED conference 2010, game designer Jane McGonigal explains the prosocial potential for video and online games.

An interesting example of the increasing role played by Positive Psychology in interactive design and development.

Dec 02, 2009

Digital Games for Physical, Cognitive and Behavioral Health

Source: Reuters

(From the press release)

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) announced more than $1.85 million in grants for research that will offer unprecedented insight into how digital games can improve players’ health behaviors and outcomes. With funding from RWJF’s Health Games Research national program, nine research teams across the country will conduct extensive studies to discover, for example, how the popular dance pad video game Dance Dance Revolution might help Parkinson’s patients reduce the risk of falling, how Wii Active might be most effectively implemented in high schools to help overweight students lose weight, how a mobile phone game with a breath interface might help smokers quit or reduce their tobacco use, or how facial recognition games might be designed to help people with autism learn to identify others’ emotions.

Health Games Research is supported by an $8.25 million grant from RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio, which funds innovative projects that may lead to breakthrough improvements in the future of health and health care. The national program, which conducts, supports, and disseminates research to improve the quality and impact of health games, is headquartered at the University of California, Santa Barbara. It is directed by Debra Lieberman, Ph.D., communication researcher in the university’s Institute for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Research and a leading expert in the research and design of interactive media for learning and health behavior change. The grants were awarded under the program’s second funding round to strengthen the evidence base in this emerging field.

“Digital games are interactive and experiential, and so they can engage people in powerful ways to enhance learning and health behavior change, especially when they are designed on the basis of well-researched strategies,” said Lieberman. “The studies funded by Health Games Research will provide cutting-edge, evidence-based strategies that designers will be able to use in the future to make their health games more effective.”

The nine research teams, chosen from among 185 proposals, each have been awarded between $100,000 and $300,000 to lead one- to two-year studies of digital games that engage players in physical activity and/or motivate them to improve how they take care of themselves through healthy changes in lifestyle; prevention behaviors; cognitive, social or physical skills; chronic disease self-management; and/or adherence to a medical treatment plan. Studies will focus on diverse population groups that vary by race and ethnicity, health status, income level, and game-play setting, with age groups ranging from elementary school children to 80-year-olds. The research teams will study participants’ responses to health games played on a variety of platforms, such as video game consoles, computers, mobile phones and robots.

“The pace of growth and innovation in digital games is incredible, and we see tremendous potential to design them to help people stay healthy or manage chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson’s disease. However, we need to know more about what works and what does not — and why,” said Paul Tarini, team director for RWJF’s Pioneer Portfolio. “Health Games Research is a major investment to build a research base for this dynamic young field. Further, the insights and ideas that flow from this work will help us continue to expand our imagination of what is possible in this arena.”

The nine grant recipients are listed here

 


Oct 27, 2009

NHS endorses Nintendo Wii Fit video game

The Daily Telegraph reports that the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus, which goes on sale this Friday, got the permission to use the NHS’s Change4Life logo in its advertising on television and in shops. From next year, it is possible that the logo will be used on the product itself, an unprecedented partnership between a video game and the Government.

Change4Life is a public health programme in the UK which began in January 2009, organised by the Department of Health. The campaign aims to encourage people in Britain to lead healthier lives, using the slogan "eat well, move more, live longer"

A spokesman for the Department of Health told the Telegraph: "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."

 

wii_fit.gif

Jun 29, 2009

Towards a Positive Technology of Gaming

In this very interesting keynote given at the recent Game Developers Conference, Jane McGonigal discusses the role of Positive Psychology in gaming. Another significant sign of how the world of ICT is embracing the perspective of Positive Technology...

 

Learning to Make Your Own Reality - IGDA Education Keynote 2009

View more documents from avantgame.

Jan 08, 2009

Science: special section on education and technology

The current issue of Science has a special section on the use of technology in education.

I found particularly interesting the article by Chris Dede about the potential offered by immersive interfaces for learning. According to Dede, the key benefit of immersive media is their ability to combine actional, symbolic, and perceptual factors, providing the participant with the impression that she or he is "inside" a digitally enhanced setting.

In another article included in this special issue, Merrilea Mayo reviews the most promising applications of videogames in science and technology education, and describes the challenges to be faced for the wider adoption of this approach.

covtoc.dp.gif

 

May 12, 2008

Foldit

Via Technology Review 

Players of a new online game called Foldit will help design three-dimensional protein structures for HIV vaccines, and enzymes for repairing DNA in diseased tissues. David Baker, a leading protein scientist at the University of Washington, teamed up with computer scientists to create the game.

 

 

 

01:35 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: serious gaming

Jan 05, 2008

$9 Bi: Microsoft's Estimate For The Serious Games Market

Via Future-making serious games

BusinessWeek has published an article this week where David Boker, senior director of the Business Development Group at Microsoft's Aces Studio, one of Microsoft's game studios where ESP was developed, says Microsoft conservatively estimates Serious Games market at $9 billion.

The Serious Games market is currently valued at about $150 million, according to Ben Sawyer, president of the Portland (Me.) consulting firm Digitalmill and co-director of the Serious Games Initiative. While not huge, that's nearly three times more than in 2005, according to Sawyer's estimates, and growth looks set to continue. 


 

17:38 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: serious games

Dec 08, 2007

The Glucoboy for Diakids

Re-blogged from Medgadget


 

Parents with diabetic kids know how difficult it often is to convince the young ones to take regular glucose readings. Now a Minnesota company called Guidance Interactive Healthcare managed to fuse a portable glucometer with a Nintendo Game Boy Advance videogame cartridge. The idea is that the hybrid cartridge is preloaded with a number of games, and kids have to submit themselves to regular readings in order to unlock games and get points that can then be used in the games to get to higher levels.

Currently only available in Australia, the device should prove a hit with the parents, while the kids might be wondering why they got a locked down game cartridge that feeds on human blood for Christmas.

 

Glucoboy product page...

 

18:16 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: serious gaming

Oct 09, 2007

Serious Games approaches to challenging racism in the workplace

There is an incident at work. One of your fellow colleagues has come to you to ask advice about the way in which a member of your team is making them feel. They believe they are being treated differently from you and the rest of the team because they are from an ethnic minority. It may or may not be racism. The fact is your colleague is feeling
discriminated against. What do you do?
 
This scenario is just one in a series of Bytesize Basics serious games which are designed to allow 'frontline workers' to 'play' with methods of inclusive service delivery away from the frontline. Users are immersed in a virtual safe haven to explore the consequences of their actions in choosing a 'solution' which leads to a video outcome scenario of the likely impact of their choice or decision. Players are also offered counsel support from a virtual tutor expert. Individual or collective users are given the opportunity to play out a numbered of potential scenarios. These are based on their solutions choices to further imbed understanding of likely outcome when seeking to support a colleague in the workplace who confides they are feeling discriminated against.
 
dbd6a3ebf662daf1f7da4150f127b97f.jpg
 

The Institute of Digital Learning at the University of Wales, Newport (UK) has been successfully applying serious games positive technologies as a mechanism of empowering workers with virtual experience and knowledge transfer that allows them to deal with situations relating to Equality & Diversity as they arise in a workplace settings.
 
The Challenging Racism in the workplace serious game is one of open source resources developed as part of the Addressing Barriers - Enhancing Services series of Equality and Diversity etraining resources as part of the European Social Fund Welsh Equal Equinex project. Dave Phillips from the South East Wales Racial Equality Council was instrumental in developing the eTraining resource.  Other approaches include the use of virtual tutor expert tutorials, topic resource manuals and MP3 downloads. In addition to Racial Equality training the other Awareness raising topics include Homelessness Awareness, Disability Equality and Age Diversity contextualised for frontline workers in the Welsh/ UK Lifelong Learning sector.  

For further information and to access the serious games and wider etraining as free resources please visit http://equal.newport.ac.uk

 

Matt Chilcott and Nick Savage

Institute of Digital Learning, University of Wales, Newport

 

10:47 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: serious gaming

Apr 22, 2007

Esther: Enhanced Security Through Human Error Reduction

From Future-Making Serious Games

 
Cognitive Informatics investigates usability and training effectiveness of a game-based training application in the domain of cyber-security education. They conducted a usability evaluation and described cognitive principles that may be used as part of a systematic process to design more effective serious games as resources in education and training. 

 

 

22:53 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: serious games

Apr 05, 2007

A buddhist game to help teach ethics

Via Lothusinthemud

 

<B>Gara d'intelligenza e bontà d'animo<br>Il videogame si converte al buddismo</B>

 

Bangkok, Thailand -- Concerned about a news report of a boy attacking his mother because she refused to give him money to play online games, a senior officer at the Religious Affairs Department decided to create a game himself.

Ethics Game", created by Pakorn Tancharoen, director of the Moral and Ethical Development Office works by using a principled game to overcome decadent games.

.... He spent his after-work time at online-game arcades to observe what kinds of games attract children.

"Most of them were about killing," he said.

He then devised a game plot that includes four main characters: Dharmmahapanyo, an old respected monk; Charn, an orphaned boy who is mischievous but clever; Nu Na, a girl who is clever and kind-hearted; and Paloe, a big half-Chinese boy who was born into a rich family and likes to tease others, especially animals.

Pakorn said he had initially asked children to participate in designing physical images of the four characters because he wanted them to win kids' hearts.

The three kids have to follow the monk on a pilgrimage. There are many barriers they have to face during the journey. Only intelligence, goodness and morals help get them past the barriers.

Killing might be the aim in most popular games, but in "Ethics Game", hurting even an animal means you lose points.

read more

20:08 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: serious games

Feb 25, 2007

£7 Million Serious Games Institute In Coventry

Via Future-Making Serious Games 

 
Friday, February 23 2007

The Serious Games Institute will be based at Coventry University Technology Park and built on the West Midlands’ excellence in computer games to diversify into non-entertainment uses such as simulation, education and training.

The centre is currently under construction and will be linked into satellite centres at Coventry University and the University of Warwick.

The Serious Games Institute will be fully operational by the autumn of 2007 but it will be holding a series of events to raise awareness between now and the opening date, including a special serious games workshop on Tuesday March 20 at the Technocentre Creativity Lab.
 

Read more on ClickPress

 

12:52 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: serious games

Feb 17, 2007

New Video Games Aim at Improving Mental Health

From Medgadget

 

Psychologist Mark Baldwin has developed and clinically tested a new commercial software, Mindhabits, that aims to decrease stress and build self-esteem:

 

MindHabits produces computer software designed to help people reduce their stress levels and boost their self-confidence, using games that automatically retrain the way the mind responds to social stress. This patent pending technology is the result of a decade of research by scientists at McGill University, one of the world's top medical research centers. The software -- based on the emerging science of social intelligence -- helps you practice the mind habit of focusing on positive social feedback, which in turn reduces stress levels and improves self-confidence...

Our starting point is past research showing that insecurity feelings and daily stress arise, in large part, from anxieties about whether one will be liked, accepted, and respected by one's peers and significant others. Sometimes people are aware of these concerns, but often social insecurities of this type influence people's thoughts and feelings "automatically", without a lot of deliberate thought and sometimes even entirely outside of their awareness. All they experience are negative reactions to the self or to social situations.

People with fewer insecurities, on the other hand, seem to have a range of automatic thought processes that make them confident and buffer them from worrying about the possibility of social rejection. Fortunately, our recent research shows that with enough practice, even people prone to stress and low self-esteem can develop these beneficial thought processes that might allow them to gradually become more secure and self-confident. We started with the idea that just as playing the game Tetris over and over for hours can start to shape the way you look at the world (even in your dreams!), playing a specially-designed computer game might also help to improve your thoughts and feelings about yourself.

We drew on research showing that certain people have attentional biases toward socially threatening information, so they automatically focus on any sign of rejection or criticism from others, which in turn perpetuates their sensitivity to rejection and heightened tendency to experience social stress. The attentional training software teaches people to look for the smiling/approving person in a crowd of frowning faces. By doing this repeatedly and as quickly as possible, this trains an automatic response of looking for acceptance and ignoring rejection. In several studies we have shown that after using the software, people become less distracted by rejection, and they become less stressed at work and school.

GRAViTONUS® Gaming System For Quadriplegics

From Medgadget

 

 

Gravitonus, a new medical device company from Russia, has created Alternative Computer Control System (ACCS), a system designed to help paralyzed individuals control computers and 'resume active lifestyles'.

 

Any person with physical disabilities is entitled to active interaction with all aspects of social life, independent personal life, self-determination, freedom of choice, as are all other human beings.

The concept of independent personal life assumes elimination of dependency from manifestations of an illness, removal of limitations generated by the illness, becoming functionally independent, formation of skills indispensable in day-to-day social engagements that should enable incorporation and problem free participation in all types of social activities, finally resulting in meaningful development as a valuable member of society.

People with paralyzed legs and hands (quadriplegics) can not execute any movement of arms and legs. At a high lesion of a spinal cord in cervical department of a vertebral column skeletal muscles cease to operate completely. Only the groups of mandibulo-facial muscles and tongue remain functional as they are innervated by cerebral nerves which are anatomically irrelevant to the spinal cord.

The proposed alternative hands-free computer control system ACCS - Alternative Computer Control System - is being already effectively used by SCI (spinal cord injury) patients who have become completely immobilized. If incorporated into personnal computer, home electronics and personnal movement control systems, ACCS will provide a person with an additional control contour, which will allow for continuous computer control.

ACCS GRAViTONUS® has high level of precision positioning, discontinuity, low response time, and is resistant to all kinds of noise interference.

ACCS is placed in a person's mouth (and comprises a tongue controlled directional command module along with 12 additional commands). It does not interfere with breathing, talk and consumption of fluids.

Without resorting to outside assistance, users can operate his or her movement accessory device, independently make telephone calls and respond to them. They can even be virtually present in any part of a house and actively participate in the life of their family, as well as use unlimited capabilities of the computer and INTERNET.

Completely motionless and otherwise helpless persons can compensate for lack of physical capabilities with their intellectual potential. ACCS GRAViTONUS® allows:
1. To realize many common professional skills, e.g., engage in scientific research, teaching, legal work, economic studies, engineering, medical, literary, musical and art activities, as well as countless other skills.
2. To gain new knowledge via remote education, on-line libraries, etc.

 

Product Page 

Promotional Video 

 

20:44 Posted in Serious games | Permalink | Comments (0) | Tags: serious gaming

1 2 3 Next