AbleGamers and The University of Toronto Team Up For First Canadian Accessibility Arcade

March 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

AbleGamers Founder Mark Barlet announced during his SXSW speech this weekend that the first Canadian Game Accessibility Lab (or AbleGamers Accessibility Arcade) will be hosted by the University of Toronto. The arcade will include the "most up-to-date technology and controllers designed to enable gamers with disabilities access to today’s most popular video games," according to AbleGamers. It will be hosted by the Semaphore Research Cluster, which is part of the iSchool (Faculty of Information), on a permanent basis.

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NeuroGaming Conference & Expo Returns to San Francisco in May

March 5, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Neurotechnology Industry Organization announced that the NeuroGaming Conference & Expo will return to San Francisco May 7-8 with a line-up of high profile speakers, new exhibitors, and even a gamejam to make this year's event memorable. In its second year, the NeuroGaming Conference focuses on the convergence of mind and body with game play using all kinds of cutting-edge technology including virtual reality, neurosensing, motion and gesture control, augmented reality, haptics, eye tracking, facial recognition and more.

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AbleGamers Founder to Speak at SXSW

March 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

AbleGamers Charity Founder and Executive Director, Mark Barlet, will deliver a keynote at SXSW this month. Bartlet's speech will be delivered at the SXSW Long Center March 8, 2014 from 12:30 – 1:30. All SXSW participants are welcome and the talk itself is open to the public. AbleGamers encourages all developers and gamers to attend. A brief Q & A will be held after the event.

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'Stroke Hero' Teaches Children About The Importance of Calling 9-11

January 31, 2014 - James Fudge

After playing an educational video game for just 15 minutes children understood what do if someone was having a stroke, according to new research reported in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. Researchers tested 210 9- and 10-year-old "low-income children" from the Bronx, New York, on whether they could identify a stroke and knew to call 9-1-1 if they saw someone having one. Researchers then tested the children again after they played a stroke education video game called Stroke Hero.

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Yale University's Play2Prevent Lab Working on Game About HIV Awareness

January 29, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Yale University's Play2Prevent lab is using a grant from the Women’s Health Research at the Yale Pilot Program to create a game that teaches about effective ways to reduce HIV infections among young African American women. The team will spend this year working with groups of black teens and 20-year-olds to design a game that will be "relevant, entertaining and a model for future public health projects."

Ad Council Releases its First In-House Created Game, Toothsavers

January 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Ad Council, the country’s largest producer of public service advertising, has created and released its first in-house game called Toothsavers. The game is designed to encourage children to brush their teeth for at least two minutes, two times a day. The game was developed with the aid and input of Healthy Mouths, Healthy Lives.

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Research: Dance Games Can Help Combat Urinary Incontinence

January 15, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Video games - particularly those that promote activities such as dancing (think Dance, Dance Revolution, or any Zumba game) can help women of all ages fight against incontinence, according to new research coming out of Canada and Switzerland. According to a study published in Neurology and Urodynamics conducted by Canadian and Swiss researchers, women suffering from urinary incontinence that added a regular regimen of dance exercises (using popular interactive video games) saw an improvement in pelvic floor muscle strength.

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AbleGamers Charity Raises $100K in 2013

January 10, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The AbleGamers Charity said today that it was able to raise over $100,000 for the first time in its history, in 2013. The charity said that these donations were made possible with the help of a lot of companies and community based fundraising effort. Community-based fundraisers such as Minethon and PAX-E, corporate donations from Paradox and IndieGala, dozens of individual streamers, and an increasing awareness in the gaming and disability communities have helped propel the charity to a new level coming into 2014, according to AbleGamers.

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Pfizer Running Clinical Trials Using Akili Interactive Labs Game

January 9, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is using video games created by Akili Interactive Labs in a clinical trial with Alzheimer’s patients to see if it can help detect the early signs of the disease. Pfizer plans to conduct a clinical trial with 100 elderly participants with and without "the presence of amyloid in their brains, based on Positron Emission Tomography imaging," according to a company statement.

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'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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InfophileOther features to become standard: The ability to remap controls however the hell I want. Quicksave at any time (especially for handheld and mobile games). Plus everything Andrew said07/03/2015 - 10:43am
InfophileRegion-freeing becomes tricky for games with a strong online component though, especially when the servers are run by different branches in different regions.07/03/2015 - 10:41am
InfophileI'm in favor of getting rid of region-locking for any purchased games. I can understand an exception for free, ad-supported games, as many ads are only relevant in certain regions, and it's a ridiculous hassle to get ads for all regions.07/03/2015 - 10:40am
PHX Corphttp://kotaku.com/payday-2-has-been-broken-on-xbox-one-for-three-weeks-1715384186 Payday 2 Has Been Broken On Xbox One For Three Weeks07/03/2015 - 8:44am
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.reddit.com/r/OutOfTheLoop/comments/3bxduw/why_was_riama_along_with_a_number_of_other_large/ here is a more complete acount of whats going on.07/03/2015 - 1:32am
Matthew Wilsonredit is on fire right now. most subreddits have been set to private.07/03/2015 - 1:24am
MattsworknameYou know andrew, those are actualy rock solid ideas, I woudl like those features a bunch ,especially with games that a cut scene heavly. looking at you kojima!07/03/2015 - 1:18am
Andrew EisenActually, "things I'd like to see become standard in video games" ain't a bad idea for one of my future YouTube videos.07/03/2015 - 1:05am
Andrew EisenYou know what I'd really like to see become standard? The ability to pause cutscenes. Rewind and skip (with "Are you sure?") would be nice too. Oh, and maybe display the duration of the cutscene when it's paused.07/03/2015 - 1:03am
Mattsworknameonly reason to do region locking now is to be dicks your consumer base. Granted, we see that ALOT these days07/03/2015 - 12:48am
MattsworknameI understand the concerns about the region locking thing, I just thing that if you buy a game legitimately, no matter where it's from or what langauge it's in, you should be allowed to play it. the argument about piracy was proven false years ago, the07/03/2015 - 12:47am
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.theverge.com/culture/2015/7/2/8888243/reddit-subreddits-private-after-ama-victoria-taylor-fired bad optics by Reddit.07/03/2015 - 12:33am
Goth_SkunkI'm in full agreement on the subtitles issue. I also believe that every game should come with a single-player component, and be playable without an internet connection. Except MMOs.07/02/2015 - 10:51pm
TechnogeekRegion locking bans seem like something that'll be very difficult to pass into law. I'm fully on board with the subtitle requirement, though.07/02/2015 - 10:00pm
MattsworknameFor example, all games with any for form of spoken dialoge should be i subtitled, and region locking in any form should be illegal07/02/2015 - 9:03pm
MattsworknameDoes anyone feel that there should be a set standard for all games in terms of certain basic features. Ie subtitles, region lock, etc07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
MattsworknameSo, now that the Article stuff is over, I want to bring up another subject07/02/2015 - 9:01pm
PHX Corphttps://trustygem.wordpress.com/2015/07/02/windows-10-insider-preview-phase-3/ My Thoughts on Windows 10 Insider Preview07/02/2015 - 6:17pm
Matthew Wilsonhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?t=18&v=CbGmrySQLIg looks like Inafune is giving capcom the middle finger.07/02/2015 - 5:05pm
TechnogeekUnfortunately, the shoutbox moves fast enough that I can't find why I got that impression, so if was indeed erroneous I do apologize.07/02/2015 - 4:34pm
 

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