Video Games and Physical Therapy

     As more and more research is done to determine positive benefits of video games, more and more ideas are being introduced, and some even have merit!  Some therapists are actually using video games in physical therapy and are actually showing promising results.  One physiotherapist, Belinda Lange, is leading a group to develop specific games for those undergoing therapy for strokes and other serious injuries.  The first idea these researchers tried was adapting already developed physical games.  However, researchers discovered quickly that this would not quite satisfy the needs of those undergoing therapy.  First, the games didn’t give researcher enough data and they didn’t always accommodate those with serious injuries who couldn’t jump or 

move too freely.  Thus, the researchers began developing games centered around already developed technologies, like the Nintendo Wii.  For example, one game developed allowed researchers to reach out to grab gems, daisies, books, and other various items.  The object of the games is to pinpoint exact movements and therapies the specific patient needs.  In addition, researchers can monitor the games to determine the amount of improvement that has taken place over the course of time.  This is an excellent idea because so many people, even older people, are playing and enjoying video games already.  Combine them with the activities that therapy patients have to do anyway, and patients may actually enjoy them more and progress can be easily tracked.  This type of therapy is still in the testing phase, but hopefully after more research, the benefits will be revealed and more and more clinics will be open to using it. 

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