Hawaii patients use video games for rehab - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii patients use video games for rehab

Kyle Saiki Kyle Saiki
Neha Kajolprasad Neha Kajolprasad
Helene Freni Helene Freni

By Stephanie Lum - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The debate over whether playing video games is good for you just got better. A game system manufactured by Nintendo was released last year and its popularity continues to increase. The "wii" is popping up in places you'd least expect and it's being played by people who aren't your average gamer.

The sounds of video games can be heard in most households, but the Nintendo Wii is being played almost on a regular basis at the Rehabilitation Hospital of the Pacific.

"Oh no!" said patient Arthur King as he looks intensely at the television screen with game controller in hand.

He hangs his head in disbelief as the words "You Lose" flash on the screen.

"I'll be playing games all day trying not to lose," said Arthur.

72-year-old King is not addicted, he is recovering from a stroke, using the Wii as part of his physical therapy.

"It makes me work. I want to move both hands," said King.

"When he came in, that arm couldn't move at all. The fact that we actually have this much range now is just fantastic," said Physical Therapist Kyle Saiki.

The Wii gets players moving, improves hand and eye coordination and at Shriners Hospital, offers patients an escape from reality.

"There's the socialization, there's the competitive part and then it just gets their mind off what they're going through," said Recreational Therapist Helene Freni.

"When I am playing the Wii, I am having fun, so I forget about the pain," said 13-year-old patient Neha Kajolprasad.

"It will make me want to get out of my bed and play or something," said 14-year-old patient Dominic Nobriga.

What's even better, patients can continue their rehab on their own if they have a Wii at home.

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