12-12: A Physiotherapeutic Rehabilitation Game for Older Adults Recovering from Stroke
Stroke is one of the most common diseases affecting older adults in Western societies. Suffering a stroke can result in a loss or weakness of mental and motor functions, severely impacting the individual’s quality of life. With effective rehabilitation it is possible to recover from stroke and regain some lost capabilities. However, rehabilitation can be very taxing on the individual, both physically and mentally, and many struggle with maintaining the motivation to continue.
Those who are unable to stay motivated tend to struggle with recovery. Without regular rehabilitation of an appropriate level of intensity, the individual’s progress will wane. They may lose interest or faith in their ability to recover, maximizing the negative impact of the stroke.
To combat this, we explored the incorporation of a digital game system into the rehabilitation process. Such a system introduced a more engaging alternative to existing mundane physiotherapy exercises. The system converted prescribed exercises into gameplay using a special shoe controller designed to target lower-limb rehabilitation. Health professionals were involved in its development, ensuring the validity of the gameplay as a substitute for traditional rehabilitation methods. Tests were conducted with older adults to explore the target audience’s needs and refine the system accordingly.
The final output was a digitized dominoes game (called 12-12) that required players to perform lower-limb physiotherapy exercises to progress gameplay. 12-12 incorporates Dr. Signal’s Strength for Task Training (2014), a novel and contemporary rehabilitation scheme, supported by the custom shoe controller developed by co-researcher William Duncan. 12-12 explored engagement through the themes of adaptability, connectivity and meaningful interactions.