In one of today's main Gamasutra features, Tuesday's keynote at the SGSDC presented a contrast to the first day's, with the animated, hyperkinetic Dr. Dave Warner, MD, Ph.D. presenting an intense, fascinating and amusing talk, which touched on how to better solve real-life humanitarian and communication problems, and had definite relevancy to many of the problems of the serious games market.
In this extract, Warner discusses some of his experiences in the market:
"Warner then moved onto more health-related "serious game" content, this time carried out in the rehab department for those recovering from serious limb injuries or other movement limiting factors. He criticized the general boredom of working with "stupid plastic balls" for rehab reasons, and ended up giving patients real-time interaction with virtual objects through a data glove, which mean manipulation could take place even before the patient could lift real objects. He also worked with stroke victims who can only move their fingers, getting them to trigger commands through finger movements, at a time (10 years ago or more) when such work was relatively groundbreaking.
The continuation of alternative control methods was especially needed for quadriplegics, who needed non-invasive electrodes to interact with the outside world, and which Warner provided by acting on the electric field of eyes moving around. But probably the most game-like solution came with a young patient who'd had reconstructive arm surgery, and didn't enjoy his muscle exercises. Warner plugged his muscles into a NES controller, and he would then play Super Mario Bros. for about two hours at a time, hastening his recovery. Unfortunately, as Warner noted, those in rehab are a population, not a market - no two cases are the same, so crafting individual solutions for each case ends up becoming extremely expensive."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
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