Posts Tagged game design

[Abstract + Related Articles] Adaptive gameplay and difficulty adjustment in a gamified upper-limb rehabilitation – IEEE Conference Publication



Lack of motivation during physical rehabilitation is a very common problem that worsens the efficacy of rehabilitation, decreasing the recovery rates of the patient. We suggest a gamified upper-limb rehabilitation that incorporates adaptive gameplay and difficulty so as to overcome that issue, emerging as a support tool for physical therapy professionals. The presence of difficulty adjustment in the game allows a higher motivation level for the patients by preserving the trade off between keeping the difficulty low enough to avoid frustration, but high enough to promote motivation and engagement. This rehabilitation game is a home-based system that allows the patient to exercise at home, due to its Kinect-based portable setup. The game aims to increase the motivation of the patients and thus the speed of their recovery. To accomplish that goal, it is key to potentiate a full immersion into the therapeutic activity. Thus gamification elements, gameplay design and adaptive difficulty are explored and incorporated into the concept.

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via Adaptive gameplay and difficulty adjustment in a gamified upper-limb rehabilitation – IEEE Conference Publication

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[ARTICLE] Exergaming and rehabilitation: A methodology for the design of effective and safe therapeutic exergames


We present here a comprehensive definition of therapeutic exergames from which a methodology to create safe exergames for real therapy pathways is derived. Three main steps are identified.

  1. A clear identification of all the exercise requirements, not only in terms of goals of the therapy, but also in terms of additional constraints. Characteristic parameters for determining the challenge level and to assess progression are also defined in this phase.
  2. The exercise is transformed into a Virtual Exercise, in which all the exercise elements are implemented inside a simple virtual environment. In this step the discussion between clinical and ICT teams allows maximizing the effectiveness of exergames implementation.
  3. The final exergame is realized by introducing on top of the exercise all the game elements suggested by good game design to maximize entertainment.

A clear line between exercises and games is drawn here. We illustrate the methodology with exergames designed for

  1. balance and posture and
  2. neglect rehabilitation, implemented and tested with post-stroke patients training autonomously at home.

The methodology can have a broader impact as it can be applied also in other gaming fields in which the requirements go beyond entertainment.

Source: Exergaming and rehabilitation: A methodology for the design of effective and safe therapeutic exergames

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[ARTICLE] Towards Efficacy-Centered Game Design Patterns For Brain Injury Rehabilitation: A Data-Driven Approach – Full Text PDF


Games are often used in brain injury (BI) therapy sessions to help motivate patients to engage in rehabilitation activities.

In this paper, we explore game design patterns as a mechanism to help game designers understand needs in BI therapy. Design patterns, originating from the work of Christopher Alexander, aim to provide a common language to support the creative work of designers by documenting solutions that have successful addressed recurring design problems.

Through analyzing data we gathered on the use of commercial games in BI therapy, we generated a list of 14 ‘efficacy-centered game design patterns’ that focused on game design considerations when addressing therapeutic goals in BI rehabilitation.

We argue that our patterns can serve as a common language to support the design of BI rehabilitation games; additionally, our data-driven approach sets up a paradigm for generating game design patterns in related areas.

Full Text PDF


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[ARTICLE] How to build better memory training games – Full Text PDF

Can we create engaging training programs that improve working memory (WM) skills? While there are numerous procedures that attempt to do so, there is a great deal of controversy regarding their efficacy. Nonetheless, recent meta-analytic evidence shows consistent improvements across studies on lab-based tasks generalizing beyond the specific training effects (Au et al., 2014; Karbach & Verhaeghen, 2014), however, there is little research into how WM training aids participants in their daily life. Here we propose that incorporating design principles from the fields of Perceptual

Learning and Computer Science might augment the efficacy of WM training, and ultimately lead to greater learning and transfer. In particular, the field of perceptual learning has identified numerous mechanisms (including attention, reinforcement, multisensory facilitation and multi-stimulus training) that promote brain plasticity. Also, computer science has made great progress in the scientific approach to game design that can be used to create engaging environments for learning.

We suggest that approaches integrating knowledge across these fields may lead to a more effective WM interventions and better reflect real world conditions…

via Frontiers | How to build better memory training games | Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience.

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