Ubisoft developing first game that helps treat lazy eye

Dig Rush designed for those with amblyopia.

Assassin's Creed developer Ubisoft is collaborating on a new game designed to treat amblyopia, the medical condition more commonly known as lazy eye.

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Dig Rush is a simple 2D puzzler with characters coloured to stand out when wearing stereoscopic 3D glasses.

The game is designed to train an amblyopia sufferer's weak and strong eyes at the same time, in order to improve the brain's ability to compensate for and improve the weaker of the two.

Ubisoft was chosen for the project by leading amblyopia researchers at McGill University, which also happens to be based in Montreal.

"The development of Dig Rush was a great opportunity for us to contribute our knowledge and skills in video game development to help materialise a breakthrough novel medical treatment," Ubisoft producer Mathieu Ferland explained.

"The team from Ubisoft Montreal has been able to create a more engaging and enjoyable experience for patients being treated for amblyopia, and we're proud to be involved in such a positive illustration of the impact of video game technology."

Back in 2013 we reported on an earlier amblyopia study by McGill University that focused on the benefits of playing Tetris.

Both that study and McGill's new research focus on moving treatment forward from the standard practice of forcing children affected by amblyopia to wear a patch over their stronger eye.

This method forces the weaker eye into action so it can compensate for the loss of sight, but is an uncomfortable and time-consuming treatment that must be kept up for many months.

Around three per cent of children are affected by amblyopia. If unsuccessfully treated, the condition is a leading cause of blindness in adults.

See how Dig Rush looks in the gameplay snippet below:

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Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips

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