Nintendo Wii isn’t just for fun anymore!
Researchers have been encouraging children with a certain type of cerebral palsy (hemiplegic) to play specially designed video games on the Wii, in order to improve muscle movement and hand-eye coordination. These games are designed to improve the patients’ control over their disabled arm.
Ten children have been trying out the video games over the past few months and they have achieved “striking results”.
Professor Janet Eyre says that children with hemiplegic cerebral palsy find it difficult to use their weak arms.
“The children find it very hard to move this arm so it gets stiffer and stiffer. These games mean you have to use two hands co-operatively and we have designed games so their is quite a lot of eye movements.
One of the games they utilize involves exploding balloons with one hand targeting while the other fires a gun. These kinds of games “train” the patients with cerebral palsy.
“We’re getting them to the stage where, without thinking about it, they use that hand.”