A video game for the neuropsychological screening of children

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Entertainment Computing, ISSN: 1875-9521, Vol: 20, Page: 1-9

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Marcos F. Rosetti; Maria F. Gómez-Tello; Gamaliel Victoria; Rogelio Apiquian
Elsevier BV
Computer Science
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The last decade has seen a steep increase in the number of computer and console games used for educational and research purposes. The current work presents an attempt to transfer some of the main features of standardized neuropsychological tests into a serious video game. The Towi game platform draws inspiration from tests such as the Backward Digit Span, Visual Search and Labyrinths, to build a set of tasks based on relatable activities and circumstances. The Towi games revolve around events related to a trip, in which the subject progresses by solving tasks that fit into a narrative, such as preparing your luggage or finding your way to the airport. We compared performance metrics produced by standardized neuropsychological tests with scores produced by Towi among a sample of 75 children, finding significant correlations for most of the comparisons. Additionally, Towi scores were found to be sensitive to effects of age, sex and the number of hours subjects dedicate to playing video games. A factor analysis grouped Towi measures into five recognizable groups (planning, sustained attention, selective attention, self-monitoring and memory) indicating the gaming platform has potential as a neuropsychological screening tool.