I came across an interesting article by Mr. Hideaki Fujiwara for Automation West (translated by Mr. Marco Farinaccia) about a new video game called Meteor Blaster. This game, Meteor Blaster, is interesting in that it was designed with a purpose: Assisting in the early detection of glaucoma. Mr. Fujiwara described the game as follows:

The game is played in a first-person perspective, and players use a beam cannon to destroy meteorites that close in on the center of the screen. When meteorites enter your crosshairs, they can be destroyed by tapping the SHOOT button on the lower right, and the CAPTURE button on the lower left can be used to collect spheres of light that occasionally flash for brief moments. Players are required to keep the screen at a distance of 30 cm away while playing and must play with one eye at a time.

As I understand it, the idea behind the game is that if someone scores below a certain level in one or both eyes, he or she may be advised to bring the result up with his or her opthamologist. That is, it is less of a diagnostic tool than a tool to pick up signs that something may be amiss.

While I know not how well it works, it is being developed jointly by Sendai Television and Tohoku University School of Medicine. So long as its limitations are made clear, Meteor Blaster sounds like an interesting project that may prompt some people who need to to make appointments with their opthamologists. The original Automation West article links to the official (Japanese language) site for the game where a demo version is available. The demo can be played on Safari or Chrome on iOS and Android.