These aren't your normal video games

Apr 30, 2013

Do your kids spend too much time with video games? Well, they might keep it up in college.

In Dr. David Chesney's engineering courses,  students at the University of Michigan create video games and apps for the greater good.

Dr. Chesney is a professor of Computer Science in the School of Engineering.

"We always try to build games for the social good, and recently we tried directing them to specific disabilities like cerebral palsy," Chesney said.

Chesney's students develop a variety of games, ranging in uses from general physical rehabilitation purposes to accessibility functions.

One app, designed by six students in Chesney's EECS 481 course, allows individuals with cerebral palsy to send and receive text messages and emails using an iPad.

Essentially, the entire iPad screen functions as one button, so you just need to tap anywhere on the screen, Chesney said.

Guiding students as they create games and apps is just one facet of Chesney's job. He also gets to observe students as they test their creations.

"We had a group with autism spectrum disorder come in to play the games, and that was the single most moving example of our students working with these kids."

-- Lucy Perkins, Michigan Radio Newsroom

To hear the full audio, click the link above.