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Student Creates Therapeutic Game For Children

A new report from the University of Toronto has highlighted a new student-developed serious game aimed at c...
A new report from the University of Toronto has highlighted a new student-developed serious game aimed at children suffering from hemiplegic cerebral palsy, a condition that weakens or paralyzes one side of a person's body. The game, developed by fourth year University of Toronto engineering student William Li, has players exercise their weaker side by moving in conjunction with a motion sensitive camera not unlike other popular titles such as those for Sony's PlayStation 2 EyeToy peripheral. According to the report, Li's research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research in conjunction with Chau’s PRISM lab. The game's goal, which acts as a therapeutic activity for children, is to get players who might not otherwise utilize their weaker limb to use the appendage, thus making it stronger and more useful to them in the real world. The game was developed with the assistance of Tom Chau, a professor at University of Toronto’s Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering, and Darcy Fehlings, the physician director of the neurodevelopmental program at Bloorview. “Physicians were hearing from an occupational therapist that it was a challenge to get children with hemiplegic CP to exercise their weaker limb,” Li said. “As a result, they actually underdevelop the potential of the weaker limbs. So that is precisely what we wanted to address with this video game system.”

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