Video Game Helps Treat “Lazy Eye” Condition

May 2, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. vision / ˈvɪʒ ən / (n.) – a person’s eyesight; ability of a person to see things
Example: I wear eyeglasses to improve my vision.

2. graphics /ˈgræf ɪks/ (n.) – visual elements displayed on a device’s screen
Example: The video game has excellent graphics.

3. coordination /koʊˌɔr dnˈeɪ ʃən/ (n.) – the process of having two things work well together
Example: The program is designed to train the coordination of both eyes.

4. start-up /ˈstɑrtˌʌp/ (n.) – a new company or business
Example: The start-up was established late last year.

5. license /ˈlaɪ səns/ (v.) – to give authority or permission
Example: The government licensed the company to produce the item.


Read the text below.
Researchers claim that their recently developed video game can help treat amblyopia [am-blee-OH-pee-uh], otherwise known as “lazy eye.”

Amblyopia is an eye condition usually found in children. It is a condition in which one eye has better vision than the other, mainly because the eye and the brain are not coordinating properly.

Researchers from McGill University developed the game Dig Rush to help treat this condition. Dig Rush is a puzzle game wherein players control mole-like creatures to find buried treasures. The players have to wear specially designed blue-and-red glasses. Using the glasses, a person can see only the red objects with the right eye and the blue objects with the left eye.

To see all of the game’s graphics, the player is forced to use both the dominant and weak eyes together. Continuous training using this game can help improve the coordination between both eyes, as the player does not rely solely on the dominant eye. Ultimately, the game can help improve the vision of the weaker eye.

Amblyotech, a start-up dedicated to the treatment of amblyopia, bought the video game rights and licensed software company Ubisoft to further develop it. However, Amblyotech has not publicly released the game yet, as it still needs the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration.

Nonetheless, Amblyotech believes that the game can be more effective than current treatments for amblyopia. These treatments include the use of eye patches or modified lenses, which, according to Amblyotech’s chief executive, provide limited relief to the patient.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What is your opinion about using video games to treat medical conditions?
·         Do you think this innovation will be positively accepted in Japan? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         If you were to invent a device that could help improve one’s vision, what would it be? Kindly discuss your answer.
·         What can people do to take care of their eyesight?

May 2, 2015