[games_access] Research questions about games helping veterans

Ben Sawyer bsawyer at dmill.com
Mon Nov 19 16:06:31 EST 2007

There are differences from rehabilitation of physical injuries vs.
those that are mental. I think the SIG's more natural tendencies lie
in those with physiological disabilities acquired or inherited. We
have an entire other group of people looking at mental issues with
games including PTSD so my feeling is let those experts deal with that.

As for the ethics of military funding I don't have the same issues
with the military - my moral issues are with political leadership vs.
the soldiers but I think it's important to consider that the SIG may
want to confine it's acceptance of funds to veteran's affairs vs. the
core active DoD. Or at any case it may decide not to take those
funds but direct those agencies to entities within its community who
don't have objections.

As for dealing with Trauma through exposure therapy I think there is
a decent body of research that supports this being an at times
effective approach - especially with PTSD issues be they military,
auto accident or other forms of trauma. As to whether they translate
to criminal attacks that's beyond my scope as well.

- Ben

On Nov 19, 2007, at 3:07 PM, Eelke Folmer wrote:

> Related to this I saw this on joystick this week:


> http://www.joystiq.com/2007/11/10/president-bush-plays-video-games-

> with-injured-soldiers/


> I have moral issues with getting military funding; a simple solution

> would just be to stop making more people with disabilities.


> Aside from my personal opinion. I think this SIG should focus on

> making games accessible. Researching how games can help deal with

> trauma is a different research question which -at least for me- lies

> outside of my field of expertise. If veterans have to play games they

> should play katamari rather than violent FPS's in my opinion. Do you

> help a rape victim deal with trauma by showing her a rape scene from a

> violent movie? I'm very sceptic about this approach.


> Cheers Eelke




> On Nov 17, 2007 12:58 PM, Reid Kimball <reid at rbkdesign.com> 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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> Eelke Folmer Assistant Professor

> Department of CS&E/171

> University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557

> Game interaction design www.helpyouplay.com

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