Benefits of Adaptive Gaming
After limb loss, individuals need to re-learn how to do most things, like walking, running, or living day-to-day with a prosthetic limb. Besides physical therapy and amputee training, adaptive gaming is an excellent rehabilitative tool that helps patients improve mobility, hand-eye coordination, and pain management.
Besides therapeutic benefits, adaptive gaming allows individuals with limb loss or differences to learn new skills. Adaptive gaming isn’t exactly new. In the past few years, many in the limb loss community used to modify and adapt controllers. Now, more gaming manufacturers and organizations are addressing the need for adaptive gaming resources.
How adaptive gaming can help
Adaptive gaming comes with a slew of benefits. Below are some of them:
Improve muscle control or movement
Patients can work on muscle memory and dexterity by moving joysticks and pressing buttons on adaptive video game controllers.
The repetitive movements required in many video games help build strength.
Patients can improve their balance by playing movement-based games.
Unlike the old preconceptions of video games, games now target overall health and fitness, like Wii Fit, Xbox Kinect Adventure, and Nintendo Switch sports games.
Improve vision and perception
Most games require aiming or quick reactions, which help improve hand-eye coordination.
Improve cognition or attention
Individuals can work on their memory and thinking skills by playing puzzles or strategy-based games.
Provides pain management or relaxation
Virtual reality-based games can now help manage phantom limb or residual limb pain.
So you want to get started with adaptive gaming but need help with the information available online? Check out our list below.
- The AbleGamers Charity (https://ablegamers.org/) – mission is to find a way for people to play video games regardless of disability. Their services are free of charge.
- Warfighter Engaged (https://warfighterengaged.org/) – this nonprofit organization modifies video game controllers and makes prosthetic enhancements and recreational devices for greater independence. This service is performed for wounded and disabled veterans at Walter Reed NMMC, individual’s homes, and other locations as needed. All adaptive items are provided at no cost to veterans.
Adaptive gaming resources
- Blue Tip Gaming (https://www.bluetipgaming.com/) – this company’s products are ideal for gamers with minimal mobility. They also work with The AbleGamers Charity.
- Craig Hospital Adaptive Gaming Resources (https://craighospital.org/inpatient/assistive-technology/adaptive-gaming) – the Tech Lab works with patients to find gaming options and equipment that best meet their abilities and interest.
- Evil Controllers (https://www.evilcontrollers.com/accessible-gaming) – this company creates customized controllers for gamers who have limited mobility. They also work with The AbleGamers Charity to develop controllers that meet the need of any gamer with a disability.
- International Game Developers Association (IGDA)-Game Accessibility Special Interest Group (https://igda-gasig.org/) – Since 2003, their volunteers have worked to aid the gaming industry in making games accessible for all, regardless of impairments and other limitations.
- RJ Cooper & Associates (https://store.rjcooper.com/collections/recreation-gaming) – offer multiple options for custom controllers, including larger joysticks and mounts and customized button location and size. They also have products that allow physically challenged individuals to control their entertainment systems, including TVs and cable boxes.
- VoiceAttack (https://www.voiceattack.com/Default.aspx) – this company offers voice-activated control for PC games. The user can also create their own voice commands with this program.
Have you tried adaptive gaming?