Pilot study shows the potential benefits of video games for visually-impaired children

15 February 2019

Results from a pioneering video game study, developed by an Exeter charity to help visually-impaired children and young people with visual field loss caused by brain injury, have been announced in a leading academic journal.

Eyelander Game for visually-impaired children

Scientists from institutions including WESC Foundation and the University of Lincoln found that progress made from rehabilitating adults with more traditional therapies can be replicated in children by using a specially-designed computer game. The American Foundation for the Blind’s Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness published results from the pilot study. The paper is freely available to read online.

Can visual field loss be recovered?

The project was designed to test the potential for recovering visual field loss in young people caused by cerebral vision impairment. Dr Jonathan Waddington, research scientist at WESC Foundation, led on the project for the charity:

“We know that rehabilitation training can help adults with this type of visual impairment improve their sight. Unfortunately that training has always failed to engage children and young people.

“We wanted to find out whether making the compensatory training more fun would see visually-impaired children continue to use the game. We also wanted to see an improvement in visual outcomes.”

Eyelander was developed by WESC Foundation along with colleagues from the University of Lincoln, game developer Mutant Labs, and local digital agency D2 Creative.

A public version of the game is now available to play for free online.

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