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MICUA’s 15 private, nonprofit colleges and universities serve nearly 58,000 students annually and award 26% of all degrees conferred by a Maryland four-year institution.

MICA Game Lab wins a Games for Change Award for Best XR Experience

Maryland Institute College of Art

September 9, 2021

 

The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) Game Lab won a Games for Change Award for Best XR Experience for their project the Quacade, which has a goal to research and explore how VR games can be used in the rehabilitation of severe spinal cord injuries.

This project is in partnership with the Maryland Blended Reality Center (MBRC) and the University of Maryland Medical Center’s Shock Trauma unit.

“I think the method works, whether I’m teaching in a community seminar, whether I’m doing a year of classics,” he says. “It’s an aspect of the human soul; people are hungry for this kind of endeavor.”

"Life after a trauma can be full of anxiety and pain, especially during the first hospital admission after a devastating injury," Sarah Murthi, MD, Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, previously said about the project. "Outside of powerful and dangerous medications like opioids — Oxycodone or Percocet — and benzodiazepines — Ambien or Valium — physicians have few tools to relieve suffering."

MICA Game Lab built a suite of immersive VR games that are played with commercial VR hardware and the Quadstick, a joystick made for quadriplegics.

The games are intended to be used during trach trials, a stressful test where a patient’s ability to breathe off a ventilator is measured. The games also serve a second purpose of helping newly injured patients become familiar with adaptive technologies.

"The students in our Game Design program are uniquely skilled to do this kind of work because developing team-based and creative-problem-solving skills is core to how we approach Game Design," former Game Lab Director and current program faculty Jason Corace previously said. "Our students think broadly and passionately about the role of play and how games can best be used to help solve a wide array of problems."

Click here to watch the video.

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  • MICUA visits Stevenson University on September 29, 2021. Pictured: MICUA staff, Members of the General Assembly, and representatives of Stevenson University.
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