World’s First Prescription Game

USFDA approves a game for ADHD patients

Akili Interactive’s EndeavorRX, formerly Project EVO, is all set to go down in history as the first video game that can be legally marketed and prescribed as medicine for ADHD in the US. It might not be recommended as a replacement for established treatments but has the potential to pave way for games being a friendly supplement, when played in the right dosage in the long run.

Crux of the Matter

Video Game That Works As A Medicine?
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has decided to allow doctors to prescribe ‘EndeavorRX‘ for kids between 8 to 12 with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Being popularised as a digital therapeutic game, it underwent 7 years of clinical trials that studied over 600 children to analyse its impact and whether it’s features of obstacle-dodging and target-collecting was making a difference in helping them.

Experts found out in one of the five studies, one-third of kids treated with the game for 25 minutes a day, five days a week for a month, had improvements in their ADHD impairments. The only side effects being mild like frustration and headache, as compared to the ones expected from traditional drugs. It is currently available on the iOS platform to a limited number of families under the FDA’s relaxed Covid-19 enforcement.

Previous Games
Bayer Diabetes had launched a glucose meter called Didget in 2010 that could be plugged directly into a Nintendo DS. Didget gave kids points for good testing habits.
These points could be spent in a game called Knock ‘Em Downs: World’s Fair. Meanwhile, it helped their parents manage their condition by building consistent blood glucose testing habits and meeting personalised glucose target ranges. However, it was as quick to go as it came.

The discontinued Wii Vitality sensor

Then there was Nintendo’s Wii Vitality Sensor that was first announced by their CEO Satoru Iwata at E3 2009 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) and was planned as a finger attachment that connected to the Wiimote. It had the ability to detect things and monitor bodily functions, such as the pulse in order to help people relax. However, it was shelved after it worked for only 90% of the users’ fingers.

New Era For Esports
Contrary to the age-old belief that gaming is merely an addictive source of entertainment, more research suggests that when played in moderation, creative video games help in the development of cognitive skills for both children and adults.

Along with enhancing problem-solving skills, it improves physical and auditory coordination. The players’ attention and concentration are subsequently improved as they react according to the given requirements of a game. Analysts suggest this increases the scope of multitasking and memory retention ability.

Gaming During Lockdown
Even in the time of the worldwide lockdown, online gaming enabled many players to engage in a particular game simultaneously, resulting in a source of constant communication between them. This made them feel less isolated and lonely and more hopeful about meeting after the quarantine ends. It also helps form new bonds while strengthening the one with old friends.

  • Esports is a form of sport competition using video games. The first esports event was likely held in 1972 at Stanford University, where players competed in a decade-old game called Spacewar.
  • Twitch is a video live streaming service operated by Twitch Interactive, a subsidiary of Amazon. The site primarily focuses on video game live streaming, including broadcasts of esports competitions, in addition to music broadcasts & creative content. As of May 2018, it had 2.2 million broadcasters monthly and 15 million daily active users, with around a million average concurrent users.
  • The PlayStation 5 (officially abbreviated as PS5) is an upcoming home video game console developed by Sony Interactive Entertainment. Announced in 2019 as the successor to the PlayStation 4, it is scheduled to launch in late 2020. After its recent launch event, the console was subject to many internet memes due to its unique design.