'Take This Project' Renamed, New Web Site Launched

December 27, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Recently the "Take This Project" was quietly relaunched as "Take This," along with a new website at www.takethis.org. Take This is a support group for gamers (though it doesn't specifically exclude those people who do not identify themselves as gamers), games journalists, game developers, and other industry professionals that suffer from depression, anxiety and other challenges associated with mental illness.

AbleGamers Grant Program for Gamers with Disabilities Now Permanently Open

December 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The AbleGamers Charity has achieved a core goal "milestone in its nine-year history" today by launching a grant program to provide people with disabilities crucial assistive technology year-round. Today the charity announced that the AbleGamers Grant Program will now be open year-round. People who have difficulties accessing video games through normal controllers can apply for a grant and will be evaluated on an individual need basis.

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Research: Children Can't Run as Far or as Fast as Their Parents Did

November 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

New research shows that on average kids need an extra 90 seconds to run a mile than kids did way back in 1975. Researchers blame increased body weight, a lack of exercise, and sedentary lifestyles that involve video games, mobile devices, and television. An analysis of studies on 250 million children from around the world finds that they don't run as fast or as far as their parents did when they were young.

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University of Michigan Medical Center Gets $4.5 Million Grant to Study Games

November 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Researchers at the University of Michigan Medical Center have been awarded a $4.5 million grant to study the effectiveness of video games and technology in creating more independence in young people suffering from spinal cord dysfunction and neuro-developmental disabilities.

While details on the study are thin, we do know that the $4.5 million grant comes from U.S. Department of Education's National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research and will be doled out over a five-year period.

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Therapy Using Virtual Avatars Helps Schizophrenia Patients

October 29, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

A new treatment for patients who suffer from schizophrenia is being developed and field tested by University College London. According to Julian Leff, the University College London psychiatrist who developed the program, the treatment puts a face on the destructive and negative voices that schizophrenia patients sometimes hear and allows them the opportunity to confront that personality.

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Canadian PhD Student Designing Games for Seniors

October 21, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

University of Saskatchewan computer science PhD student Kathrin Gerling is designing video games specifically for the benefit of senior citizens. Gerling, who loves video games, wants to combine her love for her hobby with her passion for her community by working with seniors in local nursing homes to make accessible games. Gerling was inspired to do this by a number of studies that showed that seniors who play games gain mental and physical benefits from them.

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Florida Surgeons Prepare for Surgery by Playing 'Super Monkey Ball'

October 11, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Surgeons at Florida Hospital Celebration Health in Kissimmee, Florida spend six minutes playing Super Monkey Ball on the Gamecube prior to conducting surgery because it makes them less likely to make mistakes. The Orlando Sentinel highlights the game-playing surgeons in a recent article and explains why it is important for giving patients better care and a safer experience when undergoing surgery.

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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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Poll

Should 'Hatred' have been removed from Steam Greenlight?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
E. Zachary KnightIf you are downloading a copy in order to bypass the DRM, then you are legally in the wrong. Ethically, if you bought the game, it doesn't matter where you download it in the future.12/19/2014 - 12:06pm
InfophileEZK: Certainly better that way, though not foolproof. Makes me think though: does it count as piracy if you download a game you already paid for, just not from the place you paid for it at? Ethically, I'd say no, but legally, probably yes.12/19/2014 - 11:20am
ZippyDSMleeAnd I still spent 200$ in the last month on steam/GOG stuff sales get me nearly every time ><12/19/2014 - 10:55am
ZippyDSMleeMaskedPixelante:And this is why I'm a one legged bandit.12/19/2014 - 10:51am
ZippyDSMleeE. Zachary Knight: I buy what I can as long as I can get cracks for it...then again it I could have gotton Lords of the Fallen for 30 with DLC I would have ><12/19/2014 - 10:50am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/12/19/marvel-vs-capcom-origins-leaving-online-storefronts-soon/ Speaking of "last chance to buy", Marvel vs. Capcom Origins is getting delisted from all major storefronts. Behold the wonders of the all digital future.12/19/2014 - 9:59am
MaskedPixelanteSeriously, the so-called "Last Chance" sale was up to 80% off, while this one time only return sale goes for a flat 85% off with a 90% off upgrade if you buy the whole catalogue.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
E. Zachary KnightInfophile, Tha is why I buy only DRM-free games.12/19/2014 - 9:37am
MaskedPixelanteNordic is back on GOG for one weekend only. And at 85% off no less, which is kind of a slap in the face to people who paid more during the "NORDIC IS LEAVING FOREVER BUY NOW OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE" sale, but whatever...12/19/2014 - 9:28am
InfophileRe PHX's link: This is one of the reasons the digital revolution isn't all it's cracked up to be. There's also the flip side where Sony can block access to games you've bought if they ban your account for unrelated reasons. All power is theirs.12/19/2014 - 8:52am
MaskedPixelantehttp://uplay.ubi.com/#!/en-US/events/uplay-15-days You can win FREE GAMES FOR A YEAR! Unfortunately, they're Ubisoft games.12/18/2014 - 6:29pm
Papa MidnightAh, so it was downtime. I've been seeing post appear in my RSS feed, but I was unable to access GamePolitics today across several ISPs.12/18/2014 - 6:06pm
james_fudgeSorry for the downtime today, folks.12/18/2014 - 5:54pm
PHX Corphttp://www.craveonline.com/gaming/articles/801575-sony-refuses-offer-refund-playstation-game-fraudulently-purchased-hacker Sony Refuses to Offer Refund for PlayStation Game Fraudulently Purchased by Hacker12/18/2014 - 1:43pm
NeenekoMakes sense to me, and sounds kinda cool. One cool thing about Minecraft is the meta game, you can implement other game types within its mechanics. There are servers out there with plots, an episodic single player one sound kinda cool12/18/2014 - 11:07am
MaskedPixelantehttps://mojang.com/announcing-minecraft-story-mode/ Umm... what?12/18/2014 - 10:24am
NeenekoThat would make sense. Theaters probably can not afford the liability worry or a drop in ticket sales from worried people. Sony on the other hand can take a massive writeoff, and might even be able to bypass distribution contracts for greater profit.12/18/2014 - 10:03am
ConsterNeeneko: I thought they cancelled it because the major cinema franchises were too scared of terrorist attacks to show the film?12/18/2014 - 9:55am
Neeneko@Wonderkarp - there is still a lot of debate regarding if the movie was a motive or not. Unnamed officials say yes, the timeline says no.12/18/2014 - 9:10am
NeenekoSomething does not smell right though, Sony is no stranger to being hacked, so why cancel this film? For that matter, they are still not giving in to hacker's original demands as far as I know.12/18/2014 - 9:06am
 

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