3 New Ways Video Games Can Be Used to Help

For many video game lovers, your dream is to find arcade game machines for sale, purchase your favorite, take it home and add it to your collection. You look at video games as entertainment, a way to relax after a long work week or a way to bond with family and friends through playing together.

Those are all positive purposes for video games, but did you know that gaming technology is evolving to be much more than entertainment? There are three new ways innovative individuals and thoughtful researchers are utilizing video games to help people with certain conditions.

Helping Autistic Children Socialize

Recently, researchers published findings in the Games for Health Journal that drew conclusions on how video games impacted the socialization of children on the autism spectrum. Over a 9-month period, 100 children were studied. One group was encouraged to play a Nintendo Wii game, Mario & Sonic at the Olympics, in addition to attending a regular school physical education class. The other group only attended the physical education class.

After a year, teachers reevaluated both groups and found that boys who participated in the video games and the class showed significant improvement in social function.

Rehabilitating Stroke Patients

Gaming technology is now helping stroke patients rehabilitate effectively and faster. At NYU Langone Medical Center, a canoe simulation device engages both arms, even though one may be paralyzed or have limited movement. The premise is based on the hypothesis that using a working arm can help rehabilitate an injured one. The device is produced by Mirrored Motion Works, Inc.

Improving the Quality of Life of Amputees

Amputees face specific challenges throughout their daily life, but they don’t have to let that hold them back in the video game world. George Levay, who also happens to be a double amputee, was studying at Johns Hopkins when he and two classmates decided to fulfill a class assignment and develop wearable sandals that could control a video game. The result, called a GEAR (Game Enhancing Augmented Reality) controller, can help amputees, but also people with other disabilities or injuries, such as stroke victims, continue to enjoy playing video games.

Gaming technology is spreading far and wide and is having immeasurable positive effects on society – these three examples are proof.