Games that can cure!

Glasgow Caledonian University have developed a game that helps to treat a common sight problem, Amblyopia, in children; this is a prime example of how video games can be used for a much different reason than simply to suspend disbelief.

The game is similar to tetris, were the player has to move blocks around to fit onto one another, with this game though the user has to were special goggles that show a clear image in one eye and a slightly out of focus image in the other. This means that the eye that is lazy has to work harder than the other thus improving the normal sight capabilities of it. Find a BBC News video of the game in action here.

I think this is a great step forward in Video Game Therapy and more importantly it shows that there are more uses of video games than to simply escape for a few hours. The therapy is still in its early stages so hopefully in the future there will be some more advancements. From a prospective designer it is interesting to see a video game that has a higher beneficial value for the player, and it poses the question in my mind: Possibly going down the purposeful games route is better than the games for fun route? You would get a sense of helping others but it could limit the actual amount of fiction.



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