Microsoft has some big plans for new releases and a new XBox 360 Arcade. The new XBox 360 will contain 4GB of internal flash memory and 802.11 WiFi and will ship Aug 3rd for the low low price of $199.00 US. Later this year, and closer to the holiday season, Microsoft will release its Kinect- a gesture controlled game sensor (no hardware required)- just move your body and play the game!!! The first game release is called "Kinect Adventures". I enjoyed playing this game at E3 last month. Basically you play one of many different characters who perform many different fun adventures such as navigating white water. Also, just in time for the holidays, Microsoft will release a bundled new XBox 360 and Kinect for the low low price of $299.00US. I'm excited about exploring these games a bit more when they come out.
This was sent to my by Mark Barlet, President and CEO of AbleGamers Foundation.
This is Mark Barlet, President and CEO of the AbleGamers Foundation, I wanted to share with an event that AGF is hosting next month in Boston Mass. Chances are you are one of the millions of people worldwide dealing with a chronic, or lifelong, even a temporary disability there is a chance you know a lot about videogame accessibility. This includes knowing that many games aren't as accessible as they should be. With videogames becoming an even bigger part of most people's lives, including for work and their own health, videogame accessibility is still not getting the attention it requires.
Games Accessibility Day, now in its third year, is one of several efforts aimed at improving dialogue and best practices around the creation and adaptation of all videogames for people with chronic, lifelong, or temporary disabilities including both physical, and cognitive disabilities. Games Accessibility Day is scheduled & produced by the Games for Health Project which is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio. Critical assistance and partnership for the day is provided by the AbleGamers Foundation and the Serious Games Initiative. This single-track conference now covers a wide swath of information useful to developers, researchers, those who work with people with disabilities, and more.
Attending Games Accessibility Day is a great way to get up-to-speed on the resources, best practices, and key needs necessary to make better games in general as well as for people with specific disabilities that might prevent them from fully enjoying a videogame, or even accessing it to begin with. As games move from being just consumer entertainment to efforts for learning, health, corporate training, and more - there is far less wiggle room for ignoring the engineering and design requirements to make a game as accessible as possible.
Some day we will have the tools, knowledge, and capabilities to make every game far more accessible then they often are. To help bring that day about please attend, if you are not able to make it, please share this email with someone.
get 10% off by using the code ABLE10
© 2010 The AbleGamers Foundation. "AbleGamers" is a registered trademark of the AbleGamers Foundation. All Rights Reserved
Imperial College London News Release
For Immediate Release:
Friday 26 March 2010
Computer game that is operated by eye movements, which could allow people with severe physical disabilities to become ‘gamers’ for the first time, they announce today.
The students, from Imperial College London, have adapted an open source game called ‘Pong’, where a player moves a bat to hit a ball as it bounces around the screen. The adaptation enables the player to move the bat using their eye.
To play the game, the user wears special glasses containing an infrared light and a webcam that records the movement of one eye. The webcam is linked to a laptop where a computer program syncs the player’s eye movements to the game.
One of the major benefits of the new technology is that it is inexpensive, using off-the-shelf hardware and costing approximately £25 to make. Eye movement systems that scientists currently use to study the brain and eye motion cost around £27,000, say the researchers.The prototype game is very simple but the students believe that the technology behind it could be adapted to create more sophisticated games and applications such as wheelchairs and computer cursors controlled by eye movements.
Dr. Aldo Faisal, the team’s supervisor from the Department of Computing and the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, says:
“Remarkably, our undergraduates have created this piece of neurotechnology using bits of kit that you can buy in a shop, such as webcams. The game that they’ve developed is quite simple, but we think it has enormous potential, particularly because it doesn’t need lots of expensive equipment. We hope to eventually make the technology available online so anyone can have a go at creating new applications and games with it and we’re optimistic about where this might lead. We hope it could ultimately provide entertainment options for people who have very little movement. In the future, people might be able to blink to turn pages in an electronic book, or switch on their favourite song, with the roll of an eye.”
Mr Ian Beer, who is a third year undergraduate from the Department of Computing, adds: “This game is just an early prototype, but we’re really excited that from our student project we’ve managed to come up with something that could ultimately help people who have really limited movement. It would be fantastic to see lots of people across the world creating new games and applications using our software.”
Researchers in Dr Faisal’s lab are now refining the technology so that it can monitor movements in both eyes. This would enable a user to carry out more complicated tasks such as plotting a journey on screen. This might ultimately allow them to use eye movements to steer a motorised wheelchair.
For further information please contact:
Imperial College London
Tel: +44 (0)207 594 6712
Out of hours duty press officer: +44 (0)7803 886 248
Notes to Editor
1. Student team includes: William Abbot, Department of Bioengineering; Oliver Rogers, Department of Maths and Department of Computing; Tim Treglown, Department of Maths and Department of Computing; Aaron Berk, Department of Computing; Ian Beer, Department of Computing.
2. About Imperial College London
Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.
Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve health in the UK and globally, tackle climate change and develop clean and sustainable sources of energy.
How long does it take? The PlayStation Portable 2 might be coming out sooner than you think! Lets hope its at E3 in June!!! I'll keep ya posted.
Abstract 1045/Poster 2021
- One-third of Wii sport™ and Wii fit™ activities provide energy expenditures equal to moderate-intensity exercise.
- Active video games may help prevent or improve obesity and lifestyle-related diseases, researchers said.
- The study was funded by Nintendo™.
Video clip of interview with researcher located at bottom of page
ORLANDO, FLA., Nov.16, 2009 — Active Wii sports™ video games and some Wii fit™ activities may increase adults’ energy expenditure as much as moderately intense exercise, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2009.
The study, funded by Nintendo™, demonstrated that about one-third of the virtual physical activities require an energy expenditure of 3.0 METs or above, considered moderate-intensity exercise. METs are metabolic equivalent values, a standard method of estimating energy expenditure.
The average intensities were distributed over a wide range from lotus focus, 1.3 METs, to single-arm stand, 5.6 METs.
Researchers used a metabolic chamber to measure the energy expenditure of 12 men and women, 25 to 44 years old, as they pantomimed basic moves and motions of these sports and physical activities with motion-sensing controls. The open-circuit indirect metabolic chamber consisted of an airtight room (20,000 liters or 15,000 liters). The metabolic chamber method could replicate the conditions under which the participants enjoy the games in their home, because they were free from apparatus used to measure energy expenditure (EE) when playing the game.
“Energy expenditure is the most important information to measure the effect of video games,” said Motohiko Miyachi, Ph.D., lead author of the study and Project Leader of Project for Physical Activity in the Health Promotion and Exercise Program at the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo, Japan.
• Nine activities had less than 2 METs.
• Twenty-three activities had 2–3 METs.
• Nine activities had 3–4 METs.
• Five activities had more than 4 METs.
“The range of energy expenditure in these active games is sufficient to prevent or to improve obesity and lifestyle-related disease, from heart disease and diabetes to metabolic diseases,” Miyachi said.
According to the American Heart Association’s exercise guidelines, light intensity exercise is less than 3.0 METs; moderate intensity is 3.0 to 6.0 METs; and vigorous activity is more than 6 METs. An adult walking at three miles per hour on a flat surface is expending about 3.3 METs. Adults gain the most health benefits when they do the equivalent of at least 150 minutes (2 ½ hours) of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity each week. Regular physical activity reduces the risk of many adverse health outcomes. Some physical activity is better than none.
Wii sports™ are a collection of five simplified games based on boxing, golf, tennis, bowling and baseball. Boxing is the most effective activity to increase energy expenditure, about 4.5 METs, according to the study findings. Golf, bowling, tennis and baseball are 2.0, 2.6, 3.0, and 3.0 METs, respectively.
Wii fit™ includes yoga, resistance and strength training, balance and aerobic exercises with more than 40 different activities, from push-ups to torso twists to single leg extensions.
The most effective exercise is the single-arm stand, 5.6 METs, regarded as a difficult resistance exercise that involves standing up and lying down.
The intensities of yoga and balance exercise were significantly lower than those of resistance and aerobic exercise, but these exercises are effective in improving flexibility and in fall prevention, researchers said.
Americans and Japanese are increasingly overweight. About one-third of adults in the United States are overweight and almost one-third are obese, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
“Obesity and overweight is increasing in Japanese men,” Miyachi said. “Twenty years ago, only 20 percent Japanese middle-aged men were obese and overweight, now it is more than 30 percent.”
Miyachi, who also plays active video games, recommends these active games rather than sedentary video games. The study’s findings about energy expenditure apply to Americans as well as Japanese and to younger and older people. An estimated 63 million sets of Wii sports™ and Wii fit™ were sold worldwide, Miyachi said.
Co-authors are K. Yamamoto, Ph.D.; K. Ohkawara, Ph.D.; and S. Tanaka, Ph.D.
Author disclosures can be found on the abstract.
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.americanheart.org/corporatefunding.
Abstract LB P4
Note: The Abstract will be presented at 5:30 p.m. CT
- The use of virtual reality Wii™ game technology holds the promise as a safe and feasible way to help patients recovering from stroke improve their motor function.
- Researchers said it’s too early to recommend it as standard stroke rehabilitative therapy.
American Stroke Association meeting report:
SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 25, 2010 — Virtual reality game technology using Wii™ may help recovering stroke patients improve their motor function, according to research presented as a late breaking poster at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2010.
The study found the virtual reality gaming system was safe and feasible strategy to improve motor function after stroke.
“This is the first randomized clinical study showing that virtual reality using Wii™ gaming technology is feasible and safe and is potentially effective in enhancing motor function following a stroke, but our study results need to be confirmed in a major clinical trial,” said Gustavo Saposnik, M.D., M.Sc., director of the Stroke Outcomes Research Unit at the Li Ka Shing Institute, St. Michael’s Hospital and lead investigator of the study carried out at theToronto Rehabilitation Institute at the University of Toronto, Canada.
The pilot study focused on movements with survivors’ impaired arms to help both fine (small muscle) and gross (large muscle) motor function.
Twenty survivors (average age 61) of mild to moderate ischemic or hemorrhagic strokes were randomized to playing recreational games (cards or Jenga, a block stacking and balancing game) or Wii™ tennis and Wii™ Cooking Mama, which uses movements that simulate cutting a potato, peeling an onion, slicing meat and shredding cheese.
Both groups received an intensive program of eight sessions, about 60 minutes each over two weeks, initiated about two months following a stroke.
The study found no adverse effects in the Wii™ group, reflecting safety. There was only one reported side effect in the recreational therapy group: nausea or dizziness. The Wii™ group used the technology for about 364 minutes in total session time, reflecting its feasibility. The recreational therapy group’s total time was 388 minutes.
“The beauty of virtual reality is that it applies the concept of repetitive tasks, high-intensity tasks and task-specific activities, that activates special neurons (called ‘mirror neuron system’) involved in mechanisms of cortical reorganization (brain plasticity),” Saposnik said.
“Effective rehabilitation calls for applying these principles.”
Researchers found significant motor improvement in speed and extent of recovery with the Wii™ technology.
“Basically, we found that patients in the Wii™ group achieved a better motor function, both fine and gross, manifested by improvement in speed and grip strength,” Saposnik said. “But it is too early to recommend this approach generally. A larger, randomized study is needed and is underway.”
Wii™ is a virtual reality video gaming system using wireless controllers that interact with the user. A motion detection system allows patients their actions on a television screen with nearly real time sensory feedback.
Co-authors are Mark Bayley, M.D.; Muhammad Mamdani, Pharm.D.; Donna Cheung, O.T.; Kevin Thorpe, Mmath; Judith Hall, M.;Sc.; William McIlroy, Ph.D.; Jacqueline Willems; Robert Teasell, M.D.; and Leonardo G. Cohen, M.D.; for the Stroke Outcome Research Canada (SORCan) Working Group. Author disclosures are on the abstract.
The Effectiveness of Virtual Reality Using Wii Gaming Technology in Stroke Rehabilitation (EVREST) Study was funded by a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation (HSFO) and the Ontario Stroke System (OSS) in Canada.
To download audio clips offering perspective on this research from American Stroke Association spokesperson, Pamela Duncan, Ph.D., PT, FAPTA, Professor and Bette Busch Maniscalico Research Fellow, Division of Physical Therapy, Department of Community and Family Medicine; Senior Fellow Duke Center for Clinical Health Policy Research, Duke University, Durham, N.C. click here: americanheart.mediaroom.com/index.php
Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association/American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at www.americanheart.org/corporatefunding.
NR10-1018 (ISC 2010/Saposnik)
Mark Ward, technology correspondent for the BBC news reports today that by using the skin as a surface, US researchers have found a way to use the skin as an input device. The system is currently called "Skinput". Chris Hanson, Skinput's creator, said that he created the system to overcome the problems of interacting with devices we carry around with us all day. For example, you are jogging along with your iPod and want to increase the volume- so you tap your right index finger and thumb together to increase volume and left to decrease volume. The creator also sees that the sensors can be used as a micro-projector that uses the forearm or hand as a display surface. Also, you can use skinput to play tetris by tapping fingers to rotate blocks.
I think this type of sensor has great potential for hand and finger rehabilitation and for helping folks with disabilities interact with their environment more easily. First, imagine if your therapist wanted you to pick up a bunch of paperclips as part of your home exercise program- how about turning that into "today I want you to play Tetris for 30 minutes, using your fingers" as your home exercise program. When interacting with the environment, it is often impossible for people with disabilities to reach over and turn on/off a light switch, but what if they just needed to tap their right arm to increase light or left forearm to turn off the lights- this technology takes the "Clapper" to a whole new level!
Here is a link to Chris Harrison's page (and video): www.chrisharrison.net/projects/skinput/
I will try to keep you posted on this groups advances with the development of this device.
What are your thougths? Reply below!
A report from the Pew Interent & American Life Project entitled "Chronic Disease and the Interent" was released on March 24, 2010. The reports indicates that 81% of adults reporting no chronic disease go online (66% go on line for health related information), while only 62% with one or more chronic diseases go online (and 51% go online for health information). They go on to say "The internet access gap creates an online health information gap." Furthermore, "Interestingly, there are two activities which stand out among people living with chronic disease: blogging and online health discussions." "The internet is like a secret weapon – if someone has access to it. The deck is stacked against people living with chronic disease. They are disproportionately offline. They often have complicated health issues, not easily solved by the addition of even the best, most reliable, medical advice. And yet, those who are online have a trump card. They have each other. This survey finds
that having a chronic disease increases the probability that an internet user will share what they know and learn from their peers. They unearth nuggets of information. They blog. They participate in online discussions. And they just keep going." The entire report can be found here www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Chronic-Disease.aspx
Here is a message from the American Physical Therapy Association President:
I write you today both as a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and your professional colleague, to update you on the impact new health care reform legislation will have on your practice, your patients, and your profession.
Today, President Barack Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (HR 3590), the most comprehensive piece of health care legislation this country has seen since the enactment of Medicare 45 years ago. APTA did not take a position of support or opposition to HR 3590 but advocated for the inclusion of provisions critical to the physical therapy profession and the patients we serve. We are fully aware of and respect the diverse opinions held by our members regarding this landmark legislation.
APTA's primary objective as health care reform evolved was to position physical therapy as a cost-effective, high-quality, and accessible solution. It is clear we have been successful in our efforts. This is thanks to APTA's political action committee (PT-PAC) and our coming together, APTA and its members, to build a strong grassroots advocacy initiative and provide a daily lobbying presence on Capitol Hill.
Over the past 15 months, hundreds of you visited your members of Congress in Washington and at home, thousands of you sent e-mails, wrote letters, and made phone calls, and many of you provided your patients with information on these issues.
As a result of our advocacy efforts, HR 3590 contains several provisions that are consistent with APTA priorities. Highlights of a few of the APTA priorities included in HR 3590 are as follows:
- Extends the Therapy Cap Exceptions Process for 2010
Authorizes a 1-year extension of exceptions process to December 31, 2010.
- Authorizes Study of Direct Access Under Medicare
Creates the new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center, which specifically authorizes a study on innovative models of delivery in physical therapy, including direct access to physical therapists under Medicare.
- Advances the Physical Therapy Workforce
Includes physical therapy in the allied health recruitment and retention programs to address health care workforce issues.
- Provides Rural Payment Equity Under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule
Extends the Geographic Practice Cost Index floor of 1.0 for 2010.
- Establishes Rehabilitation as a Minimum Benefit
Authorizes rehabilitation and habilitation as required minimum health care benefits as part of the health care insurance exchange.
Includes strong non-discrimination language on benefits and providers as an essential element of insurance reform. This will allow patients to choose their providers and the full range of needed services, which is critical as we increase coverage and access to health care.
- Provides Guaranteed Issue, Renewal, and Choice
Eliminates the denial or rescission of coverage based on pre-existing conditions.
APTA's work is not done, however. Now that health care reform has passed, much work remains to implement this law; educate our members, colleagues and patients; and seek policy changes to areas of concern. APTA will continue to work to ensure that physical therapy is advanced from a practice, research, education, and business perspective.
One of these concerns is that the new legislation does nothing to prevent the 21.2% cut in the Medicare physician fee schedule, effective April 1, 2010. APTA will continue its advocacy efforts to prevent these cuts from going into effect.
APTA will continue to provide you with information on the provisions of health care reform and how they will affect your practice. The best place to find the latest information is www.apta.org/healthcarereform. Additionally, we soon will host free evening informational webinars exclusively for members to learn more about this new law. We will e-mail you more information and dates as these webinars are scheduled.
On behalf of APTA, I'd like to thank you for your input in crafting the profession's message and making a difference on Capitol Hill.
R. Scott Ward, PT, PhD
On March 7th, 2010 Ernie Giblert from Games Thirst (www.gamesthirst.com) reported on a law entitled Law for the Prohibition of Violent Video Games and Toys that was passed in Venezuela that forbids the manufacture, import, distribution, purchase, sale, rental and use of violent toys and video games". This law officially went into effect on this past Wednesday. Ernie provided a list of the important aspects of the law.
1. Violent video games: Video games or programs that can be use on personal computers, arcade systems, video game consoles, portable devices or mobile telephones, or any other electronic or telephonic device, that contain information or images that promote or incite violence and the use of weapons.
2. Violent toys: Objects or instruments that in form mimic any kind of weapon used by the National Bolivarian Armed Forces, weapons of war used by any other nation, citizen or state security forces, as well as those that, though not promoting war, establish the kind of game that stimulates aggressiveness or violence.
Article 13. Those who in any way promote the purchase or use of violent toys or video games as defined by this law will be punished with a fine of between 2,000 and 4,000 tax units.
Article 14. Those who import, manufacture, sell, rent, or distribute violent toys or video games will be punished with 3 to 5 years in prison.
For the full article- please see www.gamesthirst.com/2010/03/07/dont-play-violent-games-in-venezuela/
This might be just a Wii bit of a stretch, but criminals in the top security Broadmoor Hospital (home to Britain's most evil criminals) has installed 22 game consoles, plasma TV, PlayStation adn Xboxes!
If you are interested in learning more about this program - you can try to reach the authors Jamie Pyatt and Rob Singh at email@example.com
What do you think? Should prisons purchase these types of games for use in their facilities? Should prisoners be allowed to "PLAY"???
Lets use this blog post to collect news about injuries sustained as a result of playing with the wii or other video games
Here is an older post from Feb 2009: www.engadget.com/2008/02/09/wii-rehab-wiihab-the-cycle-is-now-complete/
Sheryl Flynn PT, PhD, Belinda Lange Physio PhD, and Judy Deutsch PT, PhD are teaching a continuing education pre-conference at this years American Physical Therapy Asociation Combined Sections Meeting in San Deigo! The intended audience is physical therapists, physical therapy assistants and students! If you are anyone you know, would like to register, please go to www.apta.org/AM/Template.cfm
The conference will cover the Nintendo Wii, Sony EyeToy, Dance Dance Revolution. We will discuss evidence supporting video games for rehabilitation and its neuroplastic underpinnings. Ample opportunity for practice and patient problems will be provided.
Feel free to contact sheryl at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.