The Oculus Rift virtual reality headset has been igniting imaginations ever since it successfully reached its Kickstarter goal back in 2012. Its ability to bring graphics to life and immerse players in virtual worlds like never before were chief among the reasons for the excitement it generated. But as more people have seen potential uses for the headset, it’s become clear that the Oculus Rift is capable of much than just helping fans of horror games soil their undergarments or assisting virtual pilots in steering their virtual starships a little easier.
People with loftier goals than mere videogame immersion are seeing the value of the headset as well. James Blaha, an independent game developer has started an Indiegogo project to crowdsource cash to finish a game he’s created for the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion controller called Diplopia.
In addition to being a traditional game that challenges co-ordination and reflexes, Diplopia has also been designed to help cure eye disorders. According to the project’s Indiegogo page, it can noticeably improve the vision of sufferers of strabismus (crossed eye) and amblyopia (lazy eye) with just one to two hours of play a day for two to three weeks.
The description of the gameplay on the Indiegogo page is as follows:
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.
Modern scientific research has revealed that strabismus and amblyopia are curable even after childhood, having formerly been considered problems that required correction before the critical age of between eight and 12. Diplopia can, then, help even adults with those disorders.
There are still 47 days to go before the Indiegogo campaign ends, so you can still contribute if you’d like to. Blaha has surpassed his initial goal of just $2,000, and has promised that all extra funds beyond the initial goal will go towards adding features, including support for NVIDIA’s 3D Vision technology at the $12,000 level and additional minigames at higher levels.