Gaming As Therapy In Disguise

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Jacob was paralyzed in a diving accident in 2007. Soon after his injury, he started traditional therapy where he worked to strengthen his body and the muscles he could still move. He later discovered a different kind of therapy that would be just as impactful in his life: video gaming.

Jacob plays an online military strategy game called Starcraft. He uses adaptive hand grips with nubs attached to them so he can press the keyboard keys.

“It was therapy in disguise, and it was therapy I needed.”

Gaming wasn’t just a distraction from pain, it was also a form of physical therapy for Jacob. “It forced me to move my arm,” he says while he demonstrates the movement “Doing that back and forth all day. And holding your arm up. You have no choice but to get stronger.”

Jacob is competing in gaming at a professional level, and in the video below discusses his role in the International E-Sports Meets of the Disabled in Korea . “I’m going to go to Korea representing the United States. We’re going to promote gaming as a therapeutic form, and as a competition too.”

Jacob hopes his attitude will help others in similar situations.

“I want to show a lot of other disabled people that they can maybe try and go play some Starcraft, or play some video games, or go try to do something they haven’t necessarily tried."

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