[games_access] Research questions about games helping veterans

Ben Sawyer bsawyer at dmill.com
Sun Nov 18 07:20:27 EST 2007

The likely approach for DoD is an SBIR grant - those must involve
commercialization but such a path for one switch is easily done. The
issue for DoD SBIRs is they are US based so we'd need a u.s. based
organization to submit for one (provided there is a call for one to
begin with which is another story).

In the UK such a similar grant would come from the MoD.

There will be many different types of schemes for grants/support/
commercialization of course. The conference should explore things
like this.

- Ben

On Nov 18, 2007, at 6:11 AM, Barrie Ellis wrote:

> 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.


> Barrie

> www.OneSwitch.org.uk



> ----- 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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