Posts Tagged ‘Interactive Technology’

Video Gaming and Healthcare Industries Collaborate to Deliver Dual-Effect Treatment

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Do you suffer from anxiety, depression, foggy memory, or lack of focus? Your doctor may soon prescribe video games as a form of mental therapy.  In his recent article “Will Doctors Soon Prescribe Videogames?” Adam Bluestein reveals that brain-training games are quickly being welcomed as a means of therapy by both the neuroscience as well as pharmaceutical companies. The game featured in the attached video is called Neuroracer, “a specifically designed driving game… [for] age-related cognitive decline in senior citizens, improving memory, attention, and the ability to multitask.” says Bluestein.

However gaming-based health solutions aren’t limited to the senior market. Another Neuroracer platform game called EVO is being developed, by game maker Alkili Interactive Labs, for adolescent to middle age adult tablet users. “The game is currently being deployed in about a half dozen clinical trials, testing its effectiveness for improving function in kids with ADHD (in collaboration with Shire) and autism, treating depression (with the National Institutes of Health), and detecting early signs of Alzheimer’s disease (with Pfizer).” Says Bluestein.

Pharmaceutical companies are partnering with game developers to market drug-software “eFormulations”. “Imagine picking up your medication and finding a software code on the package that directs you to a complementary game,” Bluestein said. This will be particularly helpful in aiding general anxiety disorder. Benzodiazepine is the standard prescription, which usually requires a component of deep breathing and meditation. The games are designed to put the patient at ease and in a state of serenity needed to react with the medication.

Cogswell offers programs in Game Design and Development combining both engineering and art for games and various forms of interactive technology.  The possibilities of merging game design with the healthcare industry open up lots of potential directions for future designers.

Where do you see the partnership between the two industries leading? What other industries do you think may merge with game design in the future? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Fast Company

Artists speaking truth – The Tech hosts talk on “The Future of Play”

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

The Future of Play talk stage with Mr. Snibbe and Mr. Wilcox

Michael Martin, dean of Cogswell College, invited all students to attend a talk presented by Joe Wilcox and Scott Snibbe, two well known modern artists, about the “Future of Play” in our world today. It was hosted at the Tech Museum of Innovation, nested in the heart of Downtown San Jose which was very fitting for the talk since the museum is dedicated to the future of play through technological advances. The whole talk lasted no longer than about two hours, but in those two short hours the guests got to see some of the prior works of these two artists and hear their view on the topic at hand.

The two of them felt that play hasn’t really changed in the years that it has existed since they explained that play is a state of enjoyment and pleasure doing any one thing; getting lost in something you like to do. Mr. Wilcox continued more on that by bringing up the fact that today the play that we had 12 to 15 years ago is so different than today’s “re-invention” of play. To justify this claim of re-invention, he referenced the interaction between people and the play that would come of interactions and how it has changed today. He described that back when children and teenagers wanted to hang out or have some quality time together they would not have the luxury of texting or instant messaging. Instead they would have to plan it out ahead of time, call them through phone, or just go to their houses in person and see if they wanted to do anything. It was a bit harder to judge when or where a person would be without the connection tools of today, Mr. Wilcox went on to say, but it was still a way for people to interact face to face and still have that feeling of interaction.

He then moved to today’s reality that has the medium of the internet and cell phones to transfer information and provide alternate forms of play by means of video games, interactive applications, and lightning fast text messages. Both then went on to describe that these mediums, although helpful, distracts the real interaction that play needs to be enjoyed to its fullest since most of these new products need no one else to operate them than the user from the comfort of their own room. They made sure to remind everyone that they didn’t say these new advances in technology were bad, but to say that their influence was essentially “re-inventing” the definition of play in such a way that would mean less interaction outside of one’s household.

The night ended with a raffle, some thank you’s, and pictures to remember the event by. The whole experience was great and I really can’t wait until the next time The Tech holds another one of these talks. Plus, their view on “Play” got me to get out of the house that weekend to work out with friends, which I haven’t done in weeks. Looks like they have some truth to what they say!

Special thanks to our dean, Michael Martin for letting the students know about the meeting!


P.S. Here’s a picture of both Wilcox and Snibbe that I drew during the talk. I showed them from where I was sitting and they gave me a thumbs up. Even Mr. Snibbe said that it was good (although I think he was just being nice!).

Sketch of Wilcox and Snibbe