Tuesday, November 21, 2006

GameCycle - Videogaming as Upper-Body Rehabilitation

From the name, I had been assuming the GameCycle was yet another pedal-powered game controller. Nope! It's actually quite nifty. GameCycle is a hand-driven pedal controller that lets the user determine forward motion and steer using just the upper body. Wheelchair-bound gamers use it in therapy to play driving games.

"In the clinic, the GameCycle is used by people who have experienced stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, spina bifida, and other neurological disorders or diseases of the spine."

"Fitzgerald and her colleagues (2004) compared exercising with an arm ergometer (without a videogame) to exercising with the GameCycle (arm ergometer with videogame). Fitzgerald found that although metabolic data indicated that more calories were being expended while using the GameCycle (compared with the standard arm ergometer), research participants did not perceive greater exertion. In other words, participants were exercising harder with the GameCycle, but did not feel it or realize it."

Videogame-based therapy at its best. More here and here.

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