Diplopia, a game which harnesses technology such as the Oculus Rift, is being made to help people with Lazy Eye. Lazy Eye, or Amblyopia, is a childhood condition where one eye doesn’t develop as it should. The brain tends to focus on one eye more than the other, and can cause blindness. I had this condition as a young child and had corrective surgery, but I still have difficulty seeing things such as 3D effects. Movies which focus on 3D graphics tend to make me sick since I believe my particular issue is muscle imbalance (which caused one eye to turn out or even cross. This isn’t visibly obvious anymore).
Diplopia is a game meant to help people use their “bad eye” in conjunction with their good one.
It was long thought that once a person’s brain had learned to suppress one of their eyes that they could only unlearn this suppression before a “critical age” of between 8 and 12 years old. Only recently has it been shown that certain kinds of therapies (including video games) can actually treat amblyopia past adolescence, allowing for the possibility of restoring 3D vision in adults.
In the game you bounce a ball around a room with a paddle to destroy blocks, unlocking power ups. By manipulating the contrast of game elements such as the bricks, ball, and paddle you can force the brain to integrate the two images. By showing only some of the game elements to each eye Diplopia forces the player to incorporate information coming from both in order to win.
With 20 days left in Diplopia’s Indiegogo, it’s already dramatically surpassed its $2000 goal, reaching over $17,000 in donations. While the game is shown off through the Oculus Rift, it has plans to support Leap Motion, Razer Hydra, nVidia 3D Vision, Kinect, and the Virtuix Omni. Check out the gameplay video! I would be interested in playing simply to see how my eyes react.