[games_access] Research questions about games helping veterans

hinn at uiuc.edu hinn at uiuc.edu
Mon Nov 19 08:26:39 EST 2007

Definitely neither of you are dumb -- who can keep up with the complexity of sub-units of sub-units of parts of branches of government that overlap each other but yet are important to keep separate or we risk punishing the sub-unit that is trying to do the work that is needed? Ahhhhh...


---- Original message ----

>Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2007 07:14:20 -0500

>From: Ioo <ioo at ablegamers.com>

>Subject: Re: [games_access] Research questions about games helping veterans

>To: IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List <games_access at igda.org>


>Ben, I would never call you dumb, nor imply it. I just know from the

>work I do (all I can say about that) that there is far more cash to be

>had in the VA at the moment. If anyone is dumb it is me, I would not

>know what a grant application looks like if it came up and beat me up in

>a dark hallway.


>I just say to remember the VA, because to most that are not in the

>system (like me) they think that one is an arm of the other and they

>lump them together. When the Walter Reed scandal broke, all over the

>news it was about how the VA failed the vets, Walter Reed is not a VA

>hospital, it is DOD.


>So please do not take my post as anything more than a crusade of mine to

>make sure that the few things I count on to not go down with the ship.




>Ben Sawyer wrote:

>> Thanks Mark - I did understand they were two different agencies but I

>> made the mistake of only focusing on one. Dumb of me.


>> My only reason for saying DoD is that they do have research funds that

>> filter to the two big distributors of medical research funds which is

>> ONR and TATRC and I have good contacts at each. But you're right we

>> should hit up Veterans. I also used to work for one of the

>> congressmen who sits on the Veteran's affairs committee so I need to

>> contact him - I saw him last week ironically on a plane trip back to

>> Maine but we had about 2 minutes to catch up before it took off.


>> I think Dave Rejeski at Woodrow has also talked with Veteran's Affairs

>> but not in this vein so I'll check with him.


>> - Ben


>> On Nov 18, 2007, at 11:00 AM, Ioo wrote:


>>> Ben,


>>> If you are really looking for a grant in this area, I would not go to

>>> the DOD for it, I would go to the VA. For the most part the DOD

>>> stabilizes vets, determins there ability to contune there service and

>>> if that results in discharge the VA takes it from there. I know this

>>> because I am a Disabled Vet, disabled on the job (non-combat), and I

>>> work here in Washington DC (and that is all I am going to say about

>>> that).


>>> The VA has money to give out, they are the ones that take care of

>>> Vets long term and they are the ones that would love to get a hold of

>>> things like we are speaking of. The DOD would use would benefit from

>>> these items, but they almost aways come out of the VA.


>>> For all of those that care. The VA and the DOD are not the same. They

>>> are 2 completely different agencies with different missions and

>>> different budgets. Best way to think about this is DOD Medical

>>> stabilization, VA is maintenance.


>>> Just a thought

>>> Mark Barlet

>>> AbleGamers.com


>>> Ben Sawyer wrote:

>>>> 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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these are mediocre times and people are
losing hope. it's hard for many people
to believe that there are extraordinary
things inside themselves, as well as
others. i hope you can keep an open
-- "unbreakable"

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