Game design students at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois have released a mobile game to show the effects of blood sugar imbalances in those with type 2 diabetes. The game is called Coco’s Cove, and puts players in control of a cute little monkey in a multi-level puzzle game that illustrates the ups and downs of someone diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. A subtle gameplay mechanic changes how the player moves through the level in a light-hearted, amusing way.
Along with the very first glimpse at the new game Hellblade, developer Ninja Theory revealed that its "mysterious historical adventure" coming to PlayStation 4 and PC will feature a storyline that focuses on mental health issues.
Hellblade's story focuses on the mental health of protagonist Senua, a Celtic warrior traumatized by Viking invaders. Ninja Theory says that mental state is a central part of the story and even the gameplay because Senua has to battle "physical manifestations" of her mental illness during the course of the game.
As highlighted in this TheMarySue report, researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio have developed and deployed a new system to measure upper extremity movement in patients with muscular dystrophy using specially designed game software, the Xbox 360, and its Kinect technology.
Bungie announced that it will add new audio and colorblind-friendly options to its online action game Destiny in the next major update. The upcoming 1.1.2 update for Destiny will add the ability to play your own music, adjust your teammate's chat volume, or mute the soundtrack.
The new colorblind mode will also be implemented, allowing those players who are colorblind to adjust the settings so that they can see the game better.
"We don't all see the world the same way," said Bungie community manager.
Ubisoft Montreal is developing a video game that can help people who suffer from "lazy eye," or Amblyopia. Around three percent of Canadians and three percent of Americans suffer from Amblyopia, according to Prevent Blindness. Amblyopia is a condition where one eye is stronger than the other.
The studio, better known for developing the Assassin's Creed and Far Cry series, is working with Simon Clavagnier, a researcher from McGill University, and U.S.-based medical software company Amblyotech.
Boston-based start-up Akili Interactive and Delivering Scientific Innovation for Autism (DELSIA - a non-profit affiliated with Autism Speaks) announced today the formation of what they call a "clinical research collaboration agreement." Akili develops video games that (it claims) can diagnose and treat cognitive problems, including Alzheimer’s and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Gamers with disabilities charity AbleGamers has announced its 2014 Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year Award winner. The annual AbleGamers' Accessible Mainstream Game of the Year award aims to highlight excellence in accessible game design and is awarded to developers that make intentional choices to include accessibility in their games. This year the organization dedicated to helping gamers with disabilities find tools and hardware to allow them to play their favorite games chose one game above all others: Bayonetta 2.
Stephen Mitroff, an associate professor and researcher at the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University, has teamed up with Washington-based game developer Kedlin to improve baggage screeners' ability to spot suspicious and potentially deadly items. This is being done with data collected from play sessions of "Airport Scanner," which uses vision and attention to improve skills on spotting things that are out of place in luggage.
Lisa Rosner, a distinguished professor of history at Richard Stockton College in Galloway, NJ, has been awarded grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to develop a game about the early history of smallpox vaccination. The NEH has given professor Rosner $99,837 to create a game called "Pox Hunter," as part of a project called "A 3D Strategy Game for the History of Medicine." She is building the game with the help of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia and digital learning game developer Eduweb.
With less than eight days to go That Dragon, Cancer needs a little over $12,000 to be successfully funded on Kickstarter. As of this writing the game has generated $72,513 of its $85,000 goal from 2,415 backers. Developers Ryan Green and Josh Larson turned to Kickstarter in November to fund the rest of the game's development. If successfully funded the game will released in 2015 on multiple platforms including Ouya, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Researchers at the University of California Riverside and the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research are developing a video game that will aid in treating auditory dysfunction by training the auditory cortex to better process complex sounds. The development team is seeking public support to raise $100,000 needed to fund research and develop a computer game they claim will improve the brain’s ability to process and distinguish sounds.
Global Gaming Initiative (GGI) has released its latest game, Outbreak Responder in partnership with Malaria No More. MNM is a non-profit that seeks to end deaths from this preventable disease. The new free-to-play strategy game allows players to join the fight against the real-world health crisis, and 50 percent of profits from in-app purchases go directly to the non-profit organization. GGI points out that one dollar can provide malaria treatment to a child in Africa via Malaria No More’s Power of One campaign. The game was developed by Developed by CodeSustainable.
The makers of That Dragon, Cancer have turned to Kickstarter to fund the rest of the game's development. If successful, the game will be released in 2015 on multiple platforms including Ouya, Windows, Mac, and Linux.
That Dragon, Cancer is a game created by Ryan and Amy Green (with the help of Josh Larson), whose 4-year-old son Joel was diagnosed with cancer. During the ongoing development of the game, Joel lost that fight with cancer.
New research led by NYU Langone Medical Center sleep specialists using video games finds that sleep apnea may affect memory of everyday events like where you parked your car or where you left the TV remote. Spatial memory is utilized for everyday tasks, such as remembering how to get home, or where you left an item in your house. This type of memory is affected by Alzheimer disease.
A new game developed by Wisdom Tools in partnership with New England Research Institutes (NERI) hopes to teach children and parents about the importance of medical clinical trials and to dispel myths and misconceptions about them. The game is called "The Paper Kingdom," and is available for free via the website of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
A new study finds that MS patients who used the Wii Balance Board five days a week to play dance and snowboarding games had better balance. According to the lead author of the study Dr. Luca Prosperini (a neurologist at Sapienza University in Rome, Italy), this type of therapy is useful because there are no drugs on the market that restore or improve balance for those suffering from the disease.
Mental health charity Take This is returning to PAX Prime again this year with an AFK Room and a special panel led by the group's founders and other contributors.
"PAX has been a huge part of the success of Take This in being able to reach those who need help dealing with mental health issues in the greater video gaming community," said Take This president Russ Pitts. "It's an honor to be able to return to the show in an expanded role, and to hopefully help more people and spread more awareness about these very important issues."
Depression Quest, an interactive fiction game about dealing with the peaks and valleys of depression, has finally made its way to Steam this week. Available for free, Depression Quest is the creation of Zoe Quinn. The game was originally released on February 14 of last year, but had to wait until January of this year to get the "greenlight" from Steam.
ECA Community Manager, prolific podcaster, and all around nice guy Jose Betancourt has a very important episode of his show, The Post Game Report. On the show Jose talks about how sleep apnea affected his life prior to getting it treated. Over the years he described feeling run-down - a feeling he attributed to too much work, schooling, podcasting, and working - and not getting enough sleep.
Developer Pixelberry's High School Story, a game that took on the issue of bullying in High School, has set its sights on another important issue: teen boy image issues and eating disorders. A new version of the mobile game aims to provide "educational resources and professional support to the 20.2 million American teenagers who are unhappy with their bodies."
The new version of the U.S. Army's official training simulator is getting a little more realistic about weight and how it affects soldiers in the field. The Army's official simulation software, Virtual Battlespace 3, developed by Bohemia Interactive (makers of ARMA and DayZ), adds avatar customization. If a soldier using the simulation is overweight, his or her avatar will look overweight. But more than mere aesthetics, that weight will affect fatigue levels on the virtual field of battle.
UK charity Special Effect has put up a very interesting video of a man with spinal muscular atrophy playing Minecraft with his eyebrows. You've read that right; he's playing Mojang's popular world-building sandbox game using the power of moving his eyebrows up and down, and it's pretty amazing to watch.
During a NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference 2014 keynote, "Video Games and the Future of Cognitive Enhancement," by Dr. Adam Gazzaley revealed that his game "NeuroRacer" has been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approval as a treatment for the elderly. Gazzaley is an Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco, whose work focuses on the quality of life as people age. Gazzaley and other researchers have found that playing video games improves a person's mental speed and agility in real life.
Actress Bailee Madison and Starlight Children's Foundation will launch the first inaugural Play in May campaign next month. The charity event highlights the healing power of play for hospitalized kids while raising funds to support Starlight programs. Starting May 1, individuals and teams can pledge to play games for 15 minutes a day for 15 days and get friends, neighbors, coworkers and family members to sponsor the activity by making a donation.
Most parents of young children will tell you that it is hard to get your children to brush their teeth regularly and properly without some prodding, nagging and constant reminders. Luckily, there's an app for that.
AbleGamers will return to Boston, Massachusetts for the PAX East gaming conference, April 11-13, 2014. The group's annual Pachinko-themed fundraising event gathers support from video game publishers and developers, including EA, Blizzard, Square Enix, PlayStation, and many more, to offer prizes to those who donate to the AbleGamers Charity.
Mental health awareness organization 'Take This' announced that it will be continuing its association with PAX at PAX East 2014, with a presentation on the best way to discuss important mental health issues with co-workers, a dedicated "AFK Room" for attendees who need a quiet space to take a break from the show and a program specifically designed to help PAX East's volunteer "Enforcers" with recognizing and assisting attendees in need.