This week’s serious game topic involved designing a game which would assist either elderly or disabled individuals in maintaining independent living. With such a broad topic, our group decided to focus primarily on games which would assist the disabled. One game would act as a form of entertainment for the blind as there are currently very few games on the market that cater to such an audience, essentially detaching them from the digital entertainment industry. Another idea involved creating a game for the deaf which involved sign language recognition, therefore allowing them to interact with the game in a very comfortable fashion. Lastly, we came up with an idea which would aid in muscle rehabilitation, specifically for stroke victims as the rehabilitation exercises required to regain motor function are often quite boring and tedious. Thankfully, with the recent introduction of virtual reality to the consumer market, there are a lot of new ways to incentivize movement and exercise.
For the muscle rehabilitation game, I envision something which utilizes virtual reality in order to make rehabilitation exercises fun and engaging, therefore essentially masking the fact that individuals will be repeating otherwise monotonous movements with their hands, wrists, and arms. The idea is to create a Wii Sports-like game for the HTC Vive which contains a series of differing minigames, each of which will feature a different type of upper-body movement. The first minigame, for example, could be one which solely uses the thumb trackpad on the Vive, followed by a series of other minigames with gradually increasing difficulty (in terms of the muscles required to play). This would allow stroke victims (or others recovering from a motor function disability) to not only gradually recover their motor skills in a less tedious way, but would also incentivize the recovery process by providing those playing with plenty of new games to work towards, thereby potentially decreasing recovery times!
I really believe that one of the biggest obstacles in the way of stroke victims recovering their motor skills is the sheer tedium of the required daily routines which can inevitably take a mental toll on the recoveree. Therefore, I find it very plausible that gamifying the process would not only make stroke victims look forward to doing their required recovery exercises, but could also do so to the extent to which it speeds up their recovery.
Luke Carpentier – https://lukecarpentier.wordpress.com/ (Links to an external site.)