Gaming can benefit people with disabilities

November 20, 2008 10:04:10 AM PST
Research shows video games can improve moods and decrease stress. It can also be beneficial to people with disabilities. Pop Cap's puzzle, word and arcade-style games have helped 39-year-old Tom Kim cope with his disabilities.

"About four years back I had severe arthritis, so I had a very hard time getting around, my mobility was very limited," Tom said. "But, actually, back in January I had a brain tumor removed."

Shortly after surgery Tom started playing Pop Cap's video games for his arthritis and to rehab from brain surgery.

"In terms of my recovering, my memory, recovering my mental functioning and my language ability," Tom said.

One of the main features of Pop Caps is the games are not timed.

"They're not dependent on your reaction time, they're purely based off of your mental ability," Tom said.

As a contracted creative director in advertising for agencies like Leo Burnett, it is important for Tom to remain mentally active; he can with Pop Cap's video games.

"It was still interesting, because when I play the Pop Cap games, particularly the ones that focused on word formation and vocabulary and those kids of skills, I could almost feel new connections being made and I know it's purely anecdotal...according to all the literature...but I could feel my brain working in a different way."

To learn more about research on disabled gamers, contact Garth Chouteau: (415) 602-8147.