Virtual reality game transforming youngsters' lives at Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Luna’s Light is a VR adventure game designed to help with upper limb rehabilitation.
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An immersive virtual reality (VR) game, which makes painful rehabilitation treatment into a fun experience for children, has won Best Health Game at the Games for Change Awards in New York City.

Sheffield Hallam University’s ImpactVR team and Sheffield Children’s Hospital patients and physiotherapists co-designed Luna’s Light, a VR adventure game designed to help with upper limb rehabilitation.

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The game immerses children into a fantasy world, combining the gameplay with the physical therapy they need.

The VR headset game aims to make painful therapies an adventurous, immersive experience.The VR headset game aims to make painful therapies an adventurous, immersive experience.
The VR headset game aims to make painful therapies an adventurous, immersive experience.

Ivan Phelan, director of ImpactVR, a team which aims to find ways to provide treatment through fun experiences and gameplay, said: “This recognition is a testament to the incredible collaboration we have with Sheffield Children’s. 

“We would like to especially thank the staff and the patients who helped craft this extraordinary experience to improve patient lives.”

The team collected the award in New York on July 19, 2023, where they were one of just 10 winners from a pool of more than 400 entries.

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Professor Paul Dimitri, Professor of Child Health and Director of Research and Innovation at Sheffield Children’s, said: “Virtual reality projects, such as Luna’s Light, are producing outstanding results as a support to clinical therapies across different branches of child health and paediatrics, with potential to be just as effective in many more areas in the future. 

“We look forward to continuing to be part of this ground-breaking work and continuing to work with the ImpactVR team.”

Games for Change is a nonprofit organisation that promotes social impact through games and immersive media. It celebrated its 20th anniversary with a summit at the United Nations earlier this month.