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The Forest Project aims to improve quality of life for dementia patients through gaming

Monday, 17th March 2014 11:33 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Opaque Multimedia and Alzheimer’s Australia Vic has announced the launch of a Pozible crowdfunding campaign to support the development of The Forest Project, a video game application designed to improve quality of life for those living with dementia.

The Forest Project

Designed using Epic’s Unreal Engine 4, the campaign is looking to raise $82,000 (AU$90,000)

“Unreal Engine 4 is a next-generation video game technology. This is the same technology behind some of the most visually impressive video games of recent years,” said Norman Wang, Opaque Multimedia director. “By supporting this initiative, backers will be helping to break new ground in the use of virtual sensory therapy for people with dementia.

“We are calling on the global gaming community to get behind The Forest Project to demonstrate that video games can add immeasurable value to healthcare. With the community’s support we can greatly increase the fidelity, the types of environment, experiences and will strengthen the emotional connection – ultimately making a difference to the lives of people living with dementia.”

The Forest Project also uses Kinect 2 in order to turn the user’s livingroom into “an enchanted space that both
stimulates the senses and engages through interactivity.”

“Imagine being able to take a person with dementia out of their everyday experience and into a virtual environment through which they will experience awe, wonder, giggles, amazement and joy. Using video game technology we can do this,” said Maree McCabe, CEO,
Alzheimer’s Australia Vic.

“This first interactive virtual experience we are creating is a forest. The, possibilities to create, others are boundless such as a beach or even a seasonal Christmas themed scenario.”

“Imagine if we could make this technology available for smart TVs in aged care and private homes across the globe, for everybody to enjoy. Together we can, and in so doing, make a real difference and bring some fun back into the lives of people living with dementia.”

Dementia is the third leading cause of death in Australia and there is no cure. In Australia alone there are more than 330,000 people living with dementia and this number will increase to around 900,000 by 2050.

These figures are mirrored around the world, which means that statistically, everybody will be impacted in some way by dementia during their lifetime.

The Forest Project is slated for release on multiple platforms in early 2015.

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1 Comments

  1. TheWulf

    That’s actually really rad. Alzheimer’s or dementia setting in is something that’s scared me with my gran, who’s probably my favourite family person of all. (She’s the smart, insightful, clever one.)

    I’ve had her doing memorisation challenges, learning challenges (new languages, math, et cetera), and playing some reflex and puzzle games. I’ve had her doing that for years, now, and considering that we actually have a hereditary history of such, how young my great gran was when it happened, and how old my gran is now? I think it’s actually been very successful, I feel a little proud of myself for having quite potentially saved someone’s brain. There’s nothing more precious than the mind.

    So I definitely think this sort of thing can help. Especially if you start doing it earlier on, before the fact. I definitely think that brain diseases can be avoided, and that they’re more commonly brought on by not being very mentally active. If you’re brain lazy, you’re so much more at risk of these things, even as young as 40 you can start seeing negative effects.

    I’m glad that this is recognised and that there are people out there doing something about it. I just really feel bad for those who ended up with it because they didn’t know how they could have prevented it.

    Same with smokers who ended up with cancer because they started smoking in the early years of cigarettes, back when they were advertised as ‘nutritious’ of all things. Admittedly, that same sympathy doesn’t quite go out to smokers, today, since they’re causing horrible things that they know about, and spreading that to others via second hand smoke, but I digress.

    Thing is? Knowledge is important.

    #1 6 months ago

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