I Am Dolphin Physics Game May Help Stroke Victims

I Am Dolphin Physics Game May Help Stroke Victims

Coming August 2014, I Am Dolphin is an iOS game developed at the Johns Hopkins University that may aid patients in stroke recovery.

Move over, Goat Simulator; a new game is looking to dethrone your spot as the ultimate animal physics experience. But this won't just be silly shenanigans - I Am Dolphin was developed by a multidisciplinary team at Johns Hopkins, using the principles of neuroscience.

The game is simple: players control a dolphin or an orca whale by running their finger along a touch screen. The sea creatures follow the movement with realistic body motions that simulate muscles, bones, and a functioning motor system.

The objective of the game is to fight off predatory fish, but I expect a huge draw will simply be the fun of playing with the physics of the animals. "You feel as though you become the dolphin," software architect Omar Ahmad says of the link created between the player's and animal's motor systems.

More impressive still is that the team is testing the game as an aid in stroke recovery. "The goal is to move gaming away from extreme violence and towards motor skill and immersion in nature," neurology and neuroscience professor John Krakauer told The Escapist. He believes that games like I Am Dolphin "...will provide the motivation and enjoyment to have patients make movements that they have lost, at the intensity and dosage that is required to mediate repair in a critical time window of enhanced neural plasticity early after stroke."

I Am Dolphin will release on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod through iTunes, but the possibility exists for the game to come to other platforms in the future. "The game itself is completely cross platform and runs on a wide array of platforms including Windows, Mac, and Linux," software architect Promit Roy told The Escapist. "Releasing on other platforms is going to be a business and time decision and will be guided by how our iOS launch goes."

To create I Am Dolphin, the team developed its own game engine from scratch that allows for the creation of "motor-connection simulations of animals," Ahmad told The Escapist. Ahmad, Roy and artist Kat McNally logged hundreds of weekend hours at Baltimore's National Aquarium observing, filming and drawing the dolphins in order to produce their realistic results.

Do you guys think we could have another Goat Simulator success story in the works, here?

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You know, I didn't think I'd be able to pull this out

But to be on topic more, this is pretty darn cool. I've always been interested in how to help stroke victims. My great-uncle had one, and he taught himself how to do all the things the doctors told him he'd never be able to do again. Seeing that made me believe to this day that stroke damage can be overcome. My grandmother on my father's side also had a stroke and she was recovering very well until my grandfather died of prostate cancer, then she gave up.
I hope this helps further research and understanding on how to rebuild those neural pathways or create new routes.

I hate dolphins. Terrifying little buggers; they're like the Joker, except not because they're dolphins.

This is pretty cool, though. It's nice to see gaming being used as something other than a scapegoat for shootings and suicide by important people.

Someone Depressing:
It's nice to see gaming being used as something other than a scapegoat for shootings and suicide by important people.

Scapegoat... you did that on purpose, didn't you?

I'm happy about this. More games like this need to be made.

Umm. Can't help but to be a little pissed that things are restricted to iOs and will only reach other platforms if they like their sales there. I'm currently taking care of two stroked out parents and this got me excited. Maybe there was something I could do to help. And bam, I have to use our limited cash to get an iOs system to use it?

Yeah, I get I'm close to the situation, but it feels like a dick move.

ObsidianJones:
Umm. Can't help but to be a little pissed that things are restricted to iOs and will only reach other platforms if they like their sales there. I'm currently taking care of two stroked out parents and this got me excited. Maybe there was something I could do to help. And bam, I have to use our limited cash to get an iOs system to use it?

Yeah, I get I'm close to the situation, but it feels like a dick move.

I'm sorry for your situation, and I also wish the game were released on PC. But this isn't so much, "We're greedy and will only release this on other platforms if you guys buy a ton of copies," but rather, "We have no money, and it costs money to port and release a game across multiple platforms; if this game tanks, we'll be losing a ton of money." It's one thing to not make profit; it's another to have to pay out of their own pockets to release a game.

A bit off-topic, but I read the headline as "..Physics Game May Help Stroke Victims" as in the game strokes victims. And as terrible as that was, I still laughed.

Rhykker:

ObsidianJones:
Umm. Can't help but to be a little pissed that things are restricted to iOs and will only reach other platforms if they like their sales there. I'm currently taking care of two stroked out parents and this got me excited. Maybe there was something I could do to help. And bam, I have to use our limited cash to get an iOs system to use it?

Yeah, I get I'm close to the situation, but it feels like a dick move.

I'm sorry for your situation, and I also wish the game were released on PC. But this isn't so much, "We're greedy and will only release this on other platforms if you guys buy a ton of copies," but rather, "We have no money, and it costs money to port and release a game across multiple platforms; if this game tanks, we'll be losing a ton of money." It's one thing to not make profit; it's another to have to pay out of their own pockets to release a game.

Kickstarter. A great way to even gauge the interest. Make stretch goals. The American Stroke Association could spread the word... I don't know. Again, I might be angry, but Android is just as common as iOS nowadays and most people have a pc.

I want to keep a cool head about this, but it just feels vexing.

On the other hand, it is a wonderful thing they are doing and I hope others can find some type of true help from this. God/Science/Buddha willing.

 

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