[games_access] Research questions about games helping veterans

Thomas Westin thomas at pininteractive.com
Tue Nov 20 01:16:02 EST 2007

a twist on this would be to use games for Iraq civilian refugees too
- Sweden receives 50% of all Iraq refugees in Europe so Sweden could
be a good starting point for such development. Sweden gets about 5
million USD from the EU for this.

This way Iraq civilians and soldier vets can meet and learn to know
each other in a game.

Also, learning English through chatting in a game could be one way to
reach at least the young refugees, and help them integrate in the
European society.


18 nov 2007 kl. 19.22 skrev <hinn at uiuc.edu> <hinn at uiuc.edu>:

> I am also very, very anti-war, Barrie. I think, though, that one

> thing that differentiates this war from Vietnam is that -- largely

> -- injured, returning soldiers aren't being treated with the

> coldness from the anti-war lot that they were then. I think people

> recognize that the tactics for recruiting and so forth are far

> different for this war and, unfortunately, we've had some absolute

> horror stories of veterans returning from Iraq not being cared for

> due to less funding going to the after-care of soldiers and more

> going to the recruitment and training of pre-war soldiers.

> Sadly...the irony is that games were used for recruitment in a huge

> way for Iraq and yet not everyone is as "enlightened" to realize

> that games can be even more powerful to help people who have been

> injured learn how to live in new ways. At the end of the day, my

> concern is with those who have been hurt -- on all sides.


> And -- on the record -- my opinion is my opinion and is not the

> opinion of the SIG and all SIG members. I feel the need to state

> that because of my position as SIG chair.


> Michelle


> ---- Original message ----

>> Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2007 11:11:24 -0000

>> From: "Barrie Ellis" <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk>

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

>> veterans

>> To: "IGDA Games Accessibility SIG Mailing List"

>> <games_access at igda.org>


>> 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

> mind.

> -- "unbreakable"

> .......................................

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