Soaring through a jungle on a hover platform, the player must avoid roadblocks while collecting the red birds and ignoring those distracting blue birds. Instead of medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), some day doctors may prescribe specially designed video games, writes Lizzie Thompson on The 74.
Akili Interactive Labs’ Project: Evo tries to help children learn to focus their attention and filter out distractions.
While guiding the Evo Explorer through an obstacle course, the player must “tap on the screen when a red bird appears, and make the decision not to tap if a bird of any other color appears.”
Once the child masters red birds, it’s on to a new challenge.
. . . no two games are going to be exactly alike. Rather, the game calibrates and changes the complexity, challenges, and difficulty at a pace determined by the data collected as child plays it in real time, adapting second-by- second ever so slightly to the player’s ability.
Test subjects play the game on an iPad five days a week, for 30 minutes a day, for a month. Then Akili evaluates any changes in their cognitive functions.
The goal is to get FDA approval and persuade physicians to prescribe the game to kids with ADHD.