Ubisoft recently announced a new game they are working on, Dig Rush, which will be used to treat people suffering from amblyopia. Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a condition in which one of a person’s eyes is much weaker than the other, causing various vision problems, and if left untreated can sometimes lead to blindness.
The game makes use of old school 3D glasses, with one lens tinted red and the other tinted blue. Most of the objects in the game world are black and white, however player controlled characters appear in red and obstacles appear in blue. If the player only uses one eye the glasses will filter out important information they need to play the game. With this design, the game trains the player to use both eyes at the same time.
Ubisoft is developing this game in collaboration with Amblyotech. Amblyotech has a patent on the techniques behind the Dig Rush, and has already developed a simple game to test out those techniques. Their previous game had some success in treating people with amblyopia, but players found it repetitive and quickly grew bored with it. For this reason Amblyotech turned to Ubisoft, with their extensive experience in video game development, to work with them in making a compelling game people would enjoy playing.
Amblyotech has applied for FDA clearance to get this game approved as therapy in the United States. The game won’t be available for everyone to play, a prescription from a doctor will be required in order to purchase the game. The developers are very optimistic about the potential this game has for treating people, especially children, who suffer from amblyopia.
Do you think this game might help people suffering from amblyopia? Are there more ways video games can be used to treat medical conditions? Leave your comments below.