[games_access] Research questions about games helping veterans

Barrie Ellis barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk
Sun Nov 18 06:11:24 EST 2007

I am very anti-war - and really don't like a lot of the hyper-realistic FPS
a lot of these soldiers seem to like playing reading reports. These are
pretty nasty games in my eyes. Give me Uo Poko any day of the week. This
said, I'd happily see Department of Defence money taken for building
accessible controllers for giving people some fun who can't otherwise. Do
you think this is likely to happen? What might be the best approach?

I have had a few people approach me stating that they are supporting soliers
that have lost limbs, mostly looking towards one handed controllers as a
solution to gaming. If we could get the DragonPlus RPG DuoCon2 one-handed
controller back into production, this would aid a lot of one armed gamers.
Unfortunately, we'd need to have to guarantee a lot of sales
(http://www.ncsxshop.com/cgi-bin/shop/SAM-PS2RDC2.html - National Console
Support suggest 20,000 sales) to see this likely to happen.

Although Ben Heck seems to be having some success in getting a one-handed
controller manufactured:
http://gameaccessibility.blogspot.com/2007/10/access-controller-finds-manufacturer.html -
It does not look to be the ideal solution for all.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ben Sawyer" <bsawyer at dmill.com>
To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List" <games_access at igda.org>
Sent: Sunday, November 18, 2007 10:48 AM
Subject: Re: [games_access] Research questions about games helping veterans

> There is some emerging evidence that virtual environments help veterans

> with PTSD as long as it's part of a very scaffold and supported therapy.


> The more specific question might be are some of these cases (the non- PTSD

> induced ones) a result of veterans who suffer pain and suffering due to

> disabilities, reduced social atmosphere, etc.


> PTSD is a very debilitating problem but it's well worked on by others

> like Skip Rizzo, Russ Shilling, and others in the cyberpsychology realm.


> In terms of drugs and alcohol while there are ideas for games that help

> here they are more suited to teens, etc. then well worn veterans. There

> was some work by the Marines to use a game for anti- drug efforts in the

> Marines - I need to find out more about that project and if it produced

> results.


> The issue of whether games work or not or especially vs. other media/

> processes or within them is a big part of some of the major funding RWJF

> is providing to the games for health community through Health Games

> Research. However, it's hard to do comparative media studies and it's

> likely we might not know for sometime these differences. It's also more

> likely that we parse using games vs. not based on the goals we have and

> how they map well to things games are accepted as doing quite well such

> as motivation and distance socialization.


> Where the SIG and its members might do well in looking at veteran

> issues/defense needs is in adaptation of controllers and creation of

> games for people who have suffered various ambulatory injuries and for

> people with rehabilitation needs from head injuries, etc. These would

> obviously have crossover use to civilians suffering from the same issues

> be they by birth or accidents not involving warfare. Unfortunately it is

> likely the DoD has more $$ more easily available to tackle these issues

> then do private civilian side sources.


> - Ben




> On Nov 17, 2007, at 3:58 PM, Reid Kimball wrote:


>> Michelle's recent post about veterans seeking relief through games

>> reminded me I saw this the other day. Truly staggering and mind

>> boggling the numbers of veterans that aren't getting the help they

>> need.


>> http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/11/15/cbs-news-investigates-

>> shocking-rate-of-veteran-suicides/


>> "In 2005 alone, 125 veterans committed suicide each week and of the

>> more than 88,000 vets returning from Iraq, more than 28% of them have

>> experienced mental health problems."


>> This is definitely an area we need to research, how much can games

>> really help depressed veterans? Will it help them? Will it be abused

>> like drugs and alcohol? Is it THE solution or is it best to include

>> gaming as part of a larger therapy?


>> -Reid

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