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Movement Based Games

Another aspect of the TEMPUS_G project has been to come up with innovative ways of presenting sensory guides. The advent of movement based controllers in the gaming industry as opened up new possibilities of how we can use this technology to interact with bespoke sensory environments. Having a game controller that registers real movement means that the movement of virtual objects in a virtual environment can be directly controlled through our movements. Given our interest in how perceptual based information (e.g. the movement or sounding of objects external to us) influences the way we control and time our actions, this technology is allowing us to develop our own movement based games that are adapted to the action capabilities or affordances of the gamers (e.g. older adults, people with Parkinson's or children with complex trauma).

Older Adults

Our work to date is focusing on the Nintendo Wii technology, particularly the balance board that provides a low-cost yet highly efficient way of monitoring balance either during game play or as part of a balance assessment. We have successfully shown that we can use this technology to monitor changes in centre of pressure (balance) and use it to create balance training games. Our current funding from the ERC and CARDI, has allowed us to show that playing these games for 3 to 4 weeks can significantly improve functional balance. Thanks to a Microsoft studentship, Mahmoud Awad is now looking at how we can use the Kinect to design adapted games for the elderly (AGE).

People with Parkinson's

The Innovation grant from Parkinson's UK aims to see if the commercially available movement based games techology can help people with Parkinson's. The first part of the project will evaluate the existing Nintendo Wii system and monitor any changes in balance, mobility and mood. The second part of the project will test some specially designed balance games we have developed to see if they too can help improve the quality of life of someone with Parkinson's.

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Contact Information

Cathy Craig
School of Psychology
Queen's University Belfast
18-30 Malone Road

Tel: +44 (0) 2890 97 5482

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