By E.M. Wollof from SLN More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Game for Gain Blog Series
Imagine yourself a young adult, fully coming into the maturing process, starting to really value the social experience as something more than sandbox playdates and you are afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis. While one of the most common chronic lung diseases in children and young adults is accumulating mucus in your lungs and digestive tract, you are stuck at home because of a constant need to "huff" to break up the mucus. If you do go to school you are under constant surveillance and will, more than likely, have to "huff" in front of fellow classmates, critically effecting the ability to socialize at a time when it seems so very vital to do so.
In your anger and frustration at the loneliness this ailment has caused, you retreat to a community that doesn't need to see your face, they merely see the hero you represent on screen and the magnificent statistics you posted last game. In this community you are relevant, you are someone to be looked upon in awe and you bask in the feeling of actual victory.
The next time you go to visit your doctor, you find out that mom and dad have had a conversation with him/her and mentioned your gaming experience and how it makes you feel. The nice doctor introduces you to video game software that has a spirometer (breathing device used in the huffing process to take levels) as the controller.
The first game you are a race car driver and your speed is dependent upon your regular breathing and "huffing" exercises. You can also pit stop, wash the car and customize it to look whatever way you like. The game tracks your progress so you can know where you are in your treatment and have a benchmark to beat on your way to recovery.
The next game you are a treasure hunter in an ancient jungle and the treasure you find you need to clean off with a puff of air, once again controlled by the spirometer and your usual breathing exercises. This game also keeps track of your progress and you get to chose between the two...AND your doctor said they are more on the way!
These games are a reality and they mark a step in research and development to make treatments for diseases like Cystic Fibrosis relevant. The studies have found that the patients have improved dramatically after participating in the video game treatments and are generally excited for their next round. Welcome to the revolution...