Therapy works when it’s fun

Graphics, Animation and New Media Network – GRAND (NCE) and NeuroDevNet (NCE)

"I’m building function in my weaker arm, but it doesn’t feel like therapy:" Study participant Megan Sherwin demonstrates virtual reality therapy for children with cerebral palsy.

A June 2010 workshop involving brain researchers and computer scientists from NeuroDevNet and GRAND has proven how two seemingly unrelated research areas can come together to tackle the poor physical fitness and social isolation affecting many children with cerebral palsy (CP) and other neurodevelopmental disorders. The researchers worked with game designers, health professionals and children with CP to develop a fast-paced, action-packed multi-player video game in which competitors pedal to power the game and use a game pad to control an avatar in a virtual world. Liberi was unveiled in May 2013 at a conference in Paris. Plans are underway to develop an inexpensive home-based version that includes more than eight players.

It’s a very beneficial thing to do, and it’s just awesome and fun. The people in the group are my friends, and I’ve noticed a difference in them, too.Lara Wong, study participant