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Stroke is a leading cause of severe physical disability, causing a range of impairments. Frequently stroke survivors are left with partial paralysis on one side of the body and movement can be severely restricted in the affected sidepsilas hand and arm. We know that effective rehabilitation must be early, intensive and repetitive, which leads to the challenge of how to maintain motivation for people undergoing therapy. This paper discusses why games may be an effective way of addressing the problem of engagement in therapy and analyses which game design patterns may be important for rehabilitation. We present a number of serious games that our group has developed for upper limb rehabilitation. Results of an evaluation of the games are presented which indicate that they may be appropriate for people with stroke.
Date of Conference: 23-24 March 2009