It’s been an age old battle for years now. What are the benefits if any to playing video games? There are the funny old adages like video games rot the brain or they make children anti-social. Then there are those that argue about the hand and eye coordination benefits. We’ll be having these talks for years and years to come.
However, recently some evidence has come into play that could be very big for the video game community. Well, it could be huge for Playstation Move.
A team of professors and graduate students at the University of Utah have developed a video game that helps children with their cancer treatment. It’s specifically designed to “increase patients’ physical strength and give them a sense of empowerment to help their mental state while fighting their disease.”
The game is called PE Interactive (Patient Empowerment Interactive) and was created with Microsoft XNA and is played using the Move controllers on Sony’s PlayStation 3. The game follows a superhero main character, who is exhausted from fighting his arch-nemesis, but who grows bigger and more vibrant as the game progresses. Roger Altizer, who came up with the game design, said: “It is our goal that the patient will relate to the super hero, as they play more, he gets stronger”. Furthermore, all enemy mobs in the game are robotic, so that no living thing in the game is hurt or killed.
We’re not sure how gaming enthusiasts are going to roll this into a ball and shape it so that video games are portrayed as life savers. As a non objective viewer, all I can say is that it’s nice to know video games are being put to use to treat medical conditions. God knows there’s plenty of violence in games.
Thankfully these guys had the foresight to think of not just entertaining, but improving the quality of life for their players.