AbleGamers Charity Opens 'AbleGamers Lab'

September 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The AbleGamers Charity has opened the very first-of-its-kind "AbleGamers Lab" for gamers with special needs. Located at its headquarters just outside of Washington DC, the AbleGamers laboratory features all of the latest top-end gaming devices and assistive technology set up to enable those with disabilities to play video games. Use of the lab is free but by appointment only, with the average appointment lasting 1 - 2 hours depending on the case.

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Asylum Jam Challenges Developers to Create Horror Games That Do Not Stigmatize the Mentally Ill

September 3, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Modern television shows, movies, and even video games tend to use mental illness in a negative way when it comes to the horror genre. This portrayal of those who suffer from mental illnesses as potential, uncontrollable monsters inspired this article on Kotaku ("Nobody Wins When Horror Games Stigmatize Mental Illness") urging game developers to help reduce the stigma of mental illness by not using those with problems as vehicles for uncontrollable violence.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 67

September 2, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

This week Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by Jeremy Powers (who you may know better here on GamePolitics as 'Zen'), who talks about the feel-good story of this past week: finally being able to play video games with his daughter. Using the second screen of the Wii U, Jeremy's daughter Jennifer (who has a vision impairment) was finally able to play New Super Luigi U with her family using the GamePad as her own personal screen.

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'That Dragon, Cancer' is a OUYA Exclusive

August 13, 2013 -

Ryan Green announced that his game about the trials and tribulations of raising a child suffering from cancer is launching exclusively on the OUYA in 2014. Green says that he chose to launch That Dragon, Cancer exclusively on the Android-based platform because the platform holder has pledged to help with development costs and ensure that the game gets made.

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Researchers Use Simple Game to Understand Eye Movement Impairments in Schizophrenia Patients

August 7, 2013 -

Researchers from the University of B.C. are using a simple game to find new ways to treat symptoms of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Miriam Spering, an assistant professor in the department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of B.C., led research to determine the disconnect between vision and the information the brain collects to solve problems.

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Guitar Hero Co-Inventors Tackle Fitness Using Games

July 29, 2013 -

Guitar Hero co-inventors Kai and Charles Huang are working on a new project through their new company Blue Goji that will make active gaming a lot more interesting. Blue Goji hopes to make exercising a regular habit for more people by using fun games to distract them while they work out. The startup, which was quietly founded in late 2011, will start talking about its plans this week, but AllThingsD has the first details on what the duo have been working on.

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Cancer Research UK Hires Guerilla Tea for 'GeneGame'

July 19, 2013 -

UK-based charity Cancer Research UK has hired Dundee, Scotland-based game developer Guerilla Tea to build its first mobile phone game designed to help pinpoint new genetic causes of cancer and accelerate potential new cures. Cancer Research UK's scientists will work closely with Guerilla Tea to develop a game (working title "GeneGame") that will allow anyone with a smart phone to help analyze gene data. We assume that the game will be fun in some way to encourage more engagement. The game will launch in the UK later this year.

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All or Nothing: Active Games Best for Combating Sedentary Behavior After School Time

July 3, 2013 -

A new study coming out of Australia says that video games are great for combating sedentary time after school and making small improvements in physical activity levels - if the only ones you play are "active games." Leon Straker, PhD, of Curtin University in Perth, Australia led a team to conduct a crossover trial study to see how the effectiveness of active games could be maximized. One of the best ways was to remove all other kinds of games that did not require the user to get up and move. Removing all video games from the home of participants had similar results.

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Research: Active Gaming Therapy Beneficial to Stroke Victim Recovery

July 2, 2013 -

According to new research, recovering stroke patients who use video games as a therapeutic exercise are more physically capable of movement compared to patients who use traditional motor therapy. The research comes from Dr. Rebbie Rand, an occupational therapist of Tel Aviv University's Stanley Steyer School of Health Professions at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine; and a team of researchers from Sheba Medical Center. The research was funded by a Marie Curie International Reintegration Grant.

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Games For Health Live Stream

June 28, 2013 -

Games For Health Conference organizer Ben Sawyer let us know that the last day of the event is being live-streamed at this location. From that link you can catch the rest of the keynotes, talks, and other happenings for the remainder of the show. The page does require you to register for free.

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AbleGamers 2013 Summer of Fun Grant Program

June 26, 2013 -

The AbleGamers Charity and Minicore Studios have teamed up to launch a round of grants to purchase assistive gaming technology for gamers of any age with disabilities. This initiative, called the "Summer of Fun program," allows gamers of any age with a disability the ability to apply for a grant to buy assistive technology to aid gaming. The Summer of Fun grant program will be accepting requests for equipment until July 31, 2013.

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Games For Health Conference Opens Today

June 26, 2013 -

The ninth annual Games For Health Conference kicks off today in Boston, Massachusetts and runs until June 28. The event focuses on how video games and videogame technologies can be used to promote health issues and be used in practical ways by medical professionals to treat illnesses, help patients with wellness, and be used to conduct research. Video games and gaming-like technologies are gaining popularity among doctors, schools, therapists and consumers who are playing games that are explicitly designed to help them lead healthier lives.

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SPARX to Be Published by LinkedWellness

June 26, 2013 -

SPARX, a role-playing game that teaches young people how to manage and overcome depression, has found a publisher and distributor, according to Polygon. The game was designed by the University of Auckland and was unveiled as part of a clinical trial that was published in the British Medical Journal in 2012. That clinical trial found that playing the game was as effective as receiving one-on-one treatment with a trained mental health professional.

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Mighty Brace Highlights the Importance of Good Oral Hygiene

May 28, 2013 -

While the main job description of an orthodontist is to strengthen teeth, align bites and generally straighten teeth, one of the core issues they have had trouble addressing is oral hygiene among patients with braces. A new suite of tools called Mighty Brace hopes to help. The suite, which was created with the help of fellow orthodontists, combines an iOS app and a web presence with fun game-like activities, education and more.

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Microwarriors: The Battle Within Promotes the Use of Probiotics

April 26, 2013 -

Los Angeles-based Health Points Productions believes that people need to know more about probiotics, so the company has developed a game promoting education about the science of it all and the use of it in a game called "Microwarriors: The Battle Within."

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Zombies, Run and Oculus VR Join Keynote Line-Up at Games for Health

April 26, 2013 -

Organizers of the 2013 Games For Health Conference revealed two additional keynotes joining its slate of activities taking place in Boston, Ma. June 27 - 28. Palmer Luckey, Founder OculusVR will deliver a keynote address entitled "Healing and Health with Virtual Reality" which will explore the possible future uses of the company's virtual reality hardware in the medical field.

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Research: Active Gaming and Team Work Can Help Children Lose Weight

April 23, 2013 -

A new study published in the scientific journal Obesity finds that active games or exergaming are a good way for children to lose weight. The goal of the study, "Adolescent Exergame Play for Weight Loss and Psychosocial Improvement: A Controlled Physical Activity Intervention," was to find effective ways to encourage youngsters to be more physically active through video gaming. Researchers Sandra Calvert, Ph.D.

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Researchers Treat Adult Amblyopia With Tetris

April 22, 2013 -

Researchers at McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) have found that the popular puzzle game Tetris can be used to treat adult amblyopia, commonly known as "lazy eye." The method of treatment is drastically different because normally treatments involve patching one eye to make the uncovered eye work harder. Using Tetris, researchers found that both are used to work together to keep up with the fast-paced puzzle game.

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Research: Children with ASD More Susceptible to Video Game Addiction

April 17, 2013 -

Children and teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) use screen-based media, such as television and video games, more often than their typically developing peers and are more likely to develop problematic video game habits, according to research conducted by Micah Mazurek, an assistant professor of health psychology and a clinical child psychologist at the University of Missouri.

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AbleGamers Wins Two Awards from Multiple Sclerosis Society

April 12, 2013 -

The AbleGamers Foundation has won two award from the Multiple Sclerosis Society (MS Society) for its work on creating guidelines that aid game developers in making their games easier to use for those with various physical disabilities. The MS society has awarded the AbleGamers Foundation two awards including the da Vinci award for best product in communication/educational aids for its Includification game accessibility guidelines, and the Leo for People’s Choice.

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Adventure Game The Last Door Adds Close Captioning to Game

March 25, 2013 -

Javier Mairena of The Game Kitchen dropped us a note to let us know that the first episode of its horror adventure game series The Last Door has been revamped to make it a little friendlier to those with hearing impairments and dyslexia. Javier says that his studio has added dyslexic-friendly fonts in the game as well as close captions for those with hearing impairments.

The first episode in the episodic horror adventure series launched on March 11 on www.thelastdoor.com. It is titled "The Letter."

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Michael Langlois to Host 'Rethinking Gaming Addiction' Panel at PAX East

March 7, 2013 -

Michael Langlois, a licensed Psychotherapist, speaker, defender of video games, and author of the book "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy," will be hosting an interesting one-man panel at PAX East called "Rethinking Game Addiction."

Ultimately the discussion is meant to challenge the mainstream thinking on game addiction and to explore the mental health benefits of playing video games - even violent ones. From the description at the Pax East web site:

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Neuroscientists Urge Colleagues to Work With Game Developers to Create Brain Training Tools

February 28, 2013 -

In the latest issue of the science journal Nature two neuroscientists say that their colleagues should work with game developers to help create games that can be used to boost brain function and improve well-being. Daphne Bavelier of the University of Rochester and Richard J.

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Depression Quest: Raising Awareness Through Interactive Fiction-Based Gaming

February 20, 2013 -

A new game called Depression Quest hopes to raise awareness about the challenges of someone living with depression by using interactive fiction as its medium. The browser-based game was created by Zoe Quinn and Patrick Lindsey and puts players in the shoes of a 20-something as they struggle with their emotions and make daily choices that can either help get them out of their depression or send them spiraling into a state of deep despair.

The developers describe the game as follow:

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Paradox Interactive Partners with AbleGamers

February 19, 2013 -

The AbleGamers Foundation has partnered with Paradox Interactive to help bring video game accessibility to the Penny Arcade Expo East (PAX-E) in Boston, Massachusetts. Each year, the AbleGamers Accessibility Arcade displays the latest assistive technology for gamers with disabilities to play today’s top games with just a little help.

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The Pitch: Enhancing Psychotherapy with Video Games

January 17, 2013 -

A recent profile of Mike Langlois, a clinical social worker in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and author of the eBook "Reset: Video Games & Psychotherapy" by Psychotherapy Networker (part of its Clinician's Digest III), makes the case for psychologists and mental health professionals to learn more about video games and even play them if they can.

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DDR Classroom Edition Invades Three Schools

January 9, 2013 -

Konami announced that it has teamed up with UnitedHealthcare for a joint initiative that will use its popular dance rhythm game DanceDanceRevolution in schools to fight childhood obesity. The initiative will create a special version of DanceDanceRevolution called the DDR Classroom Edition.

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Fitness MMO Company Gets Seed Funding from BVM Capital

December 3, 2012 -

BVM Capital announced that it has made a seed round investment in health and fitness gaming company Fitness Interactive Experience (FIX). FIX is dedicated to making fitness and health fun, accessible and socially connected using massively multiplayer online games.

AbleGamers Foundation Releases 2012 Accessible Holiday Gift Guide

November 20, 2012 -

The AbleGamers Foundation has released its annual holiday gift guide for those shoppers with loved ones and family members that are gamers who have a disability. This year's guide, located here, offers nearly a dozen items ranging from technology and peripherals to accessible video games with low prices for those on a tight budget.

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Old Video Game Still Helping Young Cancer Patients

November 12, 2012 -

Longtime readers will recognize Re-Mission.  It's that Games for Health game in which you play a microscopic nanobot who cruises the innards of fictional cancer patients in search of nasty old cancer cells to battle.  It was created by Hope Lab to be played by young cancer patients and studies have shown positive effects such as helping them adhere to medication.

What you may not realize is Re-Mission was released in 2005.  That's right.  This game almost eight-years-old and still in use today.

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Andrew EisenHence the "Uh, yeah. Obviously."09/02/2014 - 12:53am
SleakerI think Nintendo has proven over the last 2 years that it doesn't.09/02/2014 - 12:31am
Andrew EisenSleaker - Uh, yeah. Obviously.09/01/2014 - 8:20pm
Sleaker@AE - exclusives do not a console business make.09/01/2014 - 8:03pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that, despite the presence of a snopes article and multiple articles countering it, people are still spreading a fake news story about a "SWATter" being sentenced to X (because the number seems to keep changing) years in prison.09/01/2014 - 5:08pm
Papa MidnightAnd resulting in PC gaming continuing to be held back by developer habits09/01/2014 - 5:07pm
Papa MidnightI find it disappointing that the current gen of consoles is representative of 2009-2010 in PC gaming, and will be the bar by which games are released over the next 8 years - resulting in more years of poor PC ports (if they're ever ported)09/01/2014 - 5:06pm
Andrew EisenMeanwhile, 6 of Wii U's top 12 are exclusive: Mario 3D World, Nintendo Land, Pikmin 3, Mario Kart 8, Wonderful 101, and ZombiU. (Wind Waker HD is on the list too but I didn't count it.)09/01/2014 - 4:36pm
Andrew EisenLikewise, only two of Xbox One's top 12 are exclusive: Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome (if you ignore a PC release later this year).09/01/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenNot to disrespect the current gen of consoles but I find it telling that of the "12 Best Games For The PS4" (per Kotaku), only two are exclusive to the system: Infamous: Second Son and Resogun.09/01/2014 - 4:30pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/09/01/beyond-two-souls-ps4-trophies-emerge-directors-cut-reported/ MMM MMM, nothing quire like reheated last gen games to make you appreciate the 400 bucks you spent on a new console.09/01/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenThat's actually a super depressing thought, that a bunch of retweeters are taking that pic as an illustration of the actual issue instead of an example of a complete misunderstanding of it.09/01/2014 - 4:20pm
Andrew EisenObviously, the picture was created by someone who doesn't understand what the issue actually is (or, possibly, someone trying to satire said misunderstanding).09/01/2014 - 4:10pm
Papa MidnightPeople fear and attack what they do not understand.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
Papa MidnightWell, let's not forget. Someone held their hand in a peace sign a few weeks ago and people started claiming it was a gang sign. Or a police chief displayed the hand signal of their fraternity and was accused of the same.09/01/2014 - 4:04pm
SleakerEither people don't understand that what the picture is saying is true, or the picture was created out of a misunderstanding of what sexism is.09/01/2014 - 3:52pm
Sleaker@AE ok yah that's where the kind of confusion I'm getting. Your tweet can be taken to mean two different things.09/01/2014 - 3:51pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - No. No, not even remotely. The pic attached to my tweet was not made by me; it's not a statement I'm making. It's an illustration of the complete misunderstanding of the issue my tweet is referring to.09/01/2014 - 3:13pm
Papa MidnightIn other news, Netflix states why it paid Comcast: http://money.cnn.com/2014/08/29/technology/netflix-comcast/index.html?hpt=hp_t209/01/2014 - 3:10pm
Papa MidnightAndrew Eisen: Sites like Tumblr make things seem much bigger than they are. A vocal extreme minority start complaining and things go as they do.09/01/2014 - 3:09pm
 

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