The argument that video games are a waste of time is one that many gamers have probably had thrown in their faces at some point, but there is much more practical uses for the medium, other than entertainment. Video games have been used for education for years and it has been proven that some people respond to the interactivity a lot better than traditional teaching.
Australian based company, Opaque Multimedia is now trying to use video games, or at least the Unreal 4 Engine to help people suffering from dementia. Teamed with Alzheimer’s Australia Vic, Opaque Multimedia is working on Project Forest, a virtual reality based therapy for people who require aged health care.
The concept is designed to help victims of dementia to relax, as well as help them engage in more stimulating activities without the need to leave their comfort zone. Research has shown that even in the late stages of dementia, that the sensory abilities of the affected person are still very much active. This means that they are still able to appreciate the beautiful environments that they will be immersed in. With a huge amount of interactivity and plans to include many different locations and environments, the hope is that that every aged care hospital will be able to have access to Project Forest. As Unreal Engine 4 is being used, it allows for a much more realistic feeling that hopes to keep sufferers of dementia active and stimulated.
The Project is still in the early stages, and is looking for help through the use of crowd funding, but even just spreading the word would be great for getting these guys more publicity.