Finding games to support and ease the challenges of illness, disorders and disabilities can be a time-consuming task. We have been working with experts in many fields to help individuals identify games they can enjoy, and potentially even benefit from.
We've worked with Fibromyalgia UK, and Andrew Hardy ([link https://twitter.com/andyhardy360 andyhardy360) who lives with Fibromyalgia, to identify some searches that return useful games for Fibromyalgia sufferers. As stated on its website, "people with chronic pain conditions have often used distraction techniques as a diversion from their pain. An increasing number of people with fibro use gaming for enjoyment and as a distraction to cope with and manage their pain."
Andrew described one of his symptoms as fingers feeling like they were stuck together and being painful to move. This means that games that offer button or keyboard remapping are a good place to start, as the inputs can be configured to suit his varying digit mobility. Also, games you can play with fewer buttons can be good.
This also means that vibration is an important consideration. Games that use sudden and strong vibrations can cause Andrew pain and make it hard to keep playing. But also, he mentioned that games that offer softer and more continuous vibration can actually offer a welcome massaging experience. Games like Lonely Mountains Downhill or Rhythm Doctor are good examples of this.
Andrew also described the symptom of "fibro fog" as he described it. Not being able to think clearly or quickly. This means that games that offer really clear mission guidance and navigation assistance are helpful to get him on his way.
The unpredictability of his pain means that Andrew often needs to stop playing unexpectedly. This means that games that let you save where you are without losing progress are another good aspect to consider.
We put these requirements together to create a custom search for Andrew, games with the following features:
- "Large Clear Navigation"
- "Save Anytime"
- "Head-Up Display Navigation"
- "Vibration Optional"
You can use this as a starting point or create your own search from scratch on the game browser page
of the database. We've also picked out some games that these searches return and provided them in this list below.
One reader, Angela Hickman Newnham
, who suffers from chronic pain and fibro, said: "Video games are an important part of distraction from pain for me. Things that are important are not having rapid button presses
and flow/pacing of the game. Lots of games work for me, depending on how bad of a flare! I am often weighing the value of distraction vs effect on symptoms. Currently playing Hades, which is hard on my hands but the adaptive difficulty (God Mode
) makes it playable. It's helped me through 2 really rough weeks because of short play sessions
of less than 1 hour and the rewards cycle that keeps me engaged."
A good search for Angela
could be games with the following:
- Played in Short Rounds
- "Rapid Repeated Pressing Optional"
This list includes 14 games from the last 25 years, with 639 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to distract yourself from pain.