The students are confident that Path and Jump Rope will soon be in releasable condition for Windows 8. They're still working out how the games will be available. Getting them on the Xbox 360 platform is a longer-term goal.
Path will be used as a brachial plexus palsy therapy tool by U-M Health System occupational therapists. They are also working to identify a family to take the game home and test it on a long-term basis.
Several dozen games—all that were developed this year and last in both classes—have been loaded on computers at Mott Children's Hospital for use by therapists and patients if they desire.
Gaming for the Greater Good instructor David Chesney is working with Jackie Kauffman, assistant professor of rehabilitation psychology and neuropsychology, to design experiments to test the efficacy of the games.
Autism will continue to be the focus of Chesney's freshman- and senior-level classes for the foreseeable future, but the curriculum will change as technologies do. For example, Microsoft's latest software development kit for Kinect on Windows has a face-tracking feature that can recognize certain movements of the eye brows, lips and nose. Chesney plans to have several student groups explore that feature in Winter 2013.
And students in both classes are carrying forward the social context Chesney exposed them to. Connor Davidson, who took Gaming for the Greater Good as a freshman, figured out that he wants his career to make the world a better place. Davidson, who is now interning with Mott Family Network at the U-M Health System, is considering rehabilitation engineering.
"The class showed me that there's a lot more I can do with my degree, and with computer programming," Davidson said. "Now I know I would like to do some social good. That's kind of a requirement for any job I have."