'Duck Duck Punch' is a video game for stroke patients

Clemson University is developing therapeutic games for Kinect, including Duck Duck Punch: a game for stroke patients.

We don't often think of video games as medical products, but a team of post-graduate students is looking to change that. The Clemson University School of Computing has created Duck Duck Punch: a Kinect game that helps stroke patients recover upper-body mobility and coordination. It's currently awaiting FDA approval, but is already being used in South Carolina hospitals and in patients' homes.

Two Clemson students, Austen Hayes and Patrick Dukes, worked on the Duck Duck Punch project in coordination with School of Computing Director Larry Hodges. Following the game's success, Hayes and Hodges co-founded Recovr, Inc.: a company dedicated to creating games for "virtual rehabilitation." Duck Duck Punch is Recovr, Inc.'s only game so far, and the company received an investment through SCRA's University Start-Up Assistance Program in October.

Duck Duck Punch has received a lot of local press in South Carolina, but national attention has been sparse. Still, the market for therapeutic games is untapped, and Recovr, Inc.'s success will hopefully spark more developers to fill medical needs. 


I'm a freelance writer and editor from the rural American South. I write. I read. I play video games. I also sleep sometimes. Talk to me about ampersands, blankets, and the Oxford comma.

Published Jul. 23rd 2015
  • !Xabbu
    Glad to see this happening in a formal setting. My roommate (who is a walking health disaster area) suffered a stroke (or four) in the 1990's and used an automobile racing game to help recover motor skills. He used a racing wheel peripheral, and never hesitates to extoll the benefits he got from it.

    Alas, he's forgotten which game it was. I suppose that could be expected.

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