Belinda Lange: “Game-based motor rehabilitation: Moving beyond the Wii”

October 21, 2010 | Lansing, MI

Speaker: Belinda Lange
Host: Meaningful Play 2010

Many clinics are adopting the use of these off-the-shelf devices for exercise, social interaction and entertainment. However, many of the games provide significant barriers for people with different injuries and levels of ability. These barriers include game-play that is too fast or requires the player to perform movements that are prohibitive to therapy goals, feedback that is not in line with therapy outcomes (game score that does not represent the functional outcome goals) or demeaning for the player (providing feedback that the user failed the task or they are ‘unbalanced’ can reduce motivation). This talk will present and discuss existing literature supporting the use of video games as rehabilitation tools. The talk will outline a potential direction of Game-Based Motor Rehabilitation research and development. The focus of this research and development concept is three-fold: 1) Assess the usability of off-the-shelf games and consoles within a range of user populations; 2) Using this feedback, re-purpose or develop low-cost interaction devices that are appropriate for use within the rehabilitation setting; 3) Design, develop and test games specifically focused on rehabilitation tasks. A range of examples from each will be presented and discussed. The presentation will aim to demonstrate support for the development of specific tailored rehabilitation games. The key advantage of designing rehabilitation games over existing off-the-shelf games is to provide the therapist and/or patient with the ability to alter elements of game play in order to individualize treatment tasks for specific users and expand the use of these tasks to a wider range of level of abilities.