New member and my pals is SO BORED! Online game rec's?

gardenvessel

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Hello all, my name is Erin. My partner Jen and I live in Seattle. Jen was diagnosed with rapid progression ALS in March 2018. She is immobile now with just eye and some jaw movement left. The tv is on all day and all night and Jen scrolls FB constantly. She is so bored. There comes a point where you've watched all the movies/tv shows, listened to all the podcasts/audiobooks/music, read all the internet things, and you just need something more interactive. We were talking the other day about how she misses playing online games, particularly hidden object and Nancy Drew mysteries. She's tried to access her Big Fish account through the Tobii, but the program is just not compatible enough to control with the eye gaze. We have Alexa and the Tobii is tied to it, but she can't play voice-cued stuff because her speech activation is too slow for Alexa's liking (even with programmed phrases).

So my questions is: how does your PALS keep entertained outside of tv/audio stuff? Are there any games online that are compatible with eyegaze (that aren't for toddlers, lol!)? Are there any games that she and I can play together where she can take an active part in? Any ideas welcome.

Thanks!
 

Jrzygrl

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Welcome Erin!

Boredom is a major problem for my PALS too. I wish I had a solution.
 

affected

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welcome! I hope you get some great ideas here - it may partly depend on her interests.
I know one member completes online courses and finds this really exercises her brain.

Is there something Jen might enjoy learning?
 

KateEmerson

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Welcome Erin, wondering if Jen would like to join in on the game being played on this forum called Alphagories? There are a number of PALS playing and I think a few are using eye gaze. Kate
 

lgelb

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Hi Erin,

Does she have enough jaw movement for a Tetramouse? The developer is actually in Woodinville, so maybe you could get a loaner to try out.

Has she tried the Tobii software that works with the Surface? That combination is said to be more responsive than the Tobii hardware.

There have also been favorable comments in re the Hawkeye + iPad combination, and another iPad option would be a switch taped to the jaw muscle that has movement, connected via the Tecla or other switch interface.

Best,
Laurie
 

Narrowminded

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To follow up on Laurie, one of those types of switches is called an Acorn switch. Not inexpensive, but you can get one on amazon or your loaner closet may have one you can try. Technically it is a proximal sensor switch. Meaning it doesn’t actually have to be touched. It can sense movement such as jaw. Then it gets plugged into the Tobii and acts as mouse clicks.

My DH used Netflix, but I’m sure he too was bored at times. He always enjoyed people stopping by and telling him about their lives. That one was tougher because most people pulled away after his DX.

Best to you
 

LoveLife82

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There is now the option to control the game Minecraft with eyegaze using Minecraft Eyemine. It's a huge virtual "sandbox"/building game with both survival and creative modes. It wouldn't appeal to everyone but it's very popular and can be played multiplayer either locally or online. It might take a while to get the idea of all the possibilities if you haven't heard of it but there are many youtube videos about it. It could possibly be a creative outlet in "creative mode" too.

Or what about eyegaze art? Check out "Eyegaze artist" @sarahezekiel on twitter.
 

nona

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It is definitely hard to fill a day sometimes, especially if you want time away from screens. I don't know what I'd do without my Tobii; as boring as it can get, it's my lifeline. I watch more TV than I ever have, which includes a lot of baseball and occasionally golf or tennis. Looking forward to football season, and envious of you west coasters who don't have to stay up til midnight for prime time games. I also spend time on Facebook and on this forum, read a lot of news when I can stomach it, and listen to books. I catch up on the late night shows on YouTube. I just started doing the New York times crossword puzzle on line, which is good for my idle brain. I am able to text with friends using the Pulse SMS website, compatible with an Android phone. I used to like to write poetry but I feel like I've lost eloquence or inspiration. I know where your pALS is coming from, it's hard to be in forced retirement without the physical freedom to do whatever you want. Is she on this forum? Because perhaps engaging here would fill up some time?
 

KarenNWendyn

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Is “words with friends” playable using eye gaze? I play that daily. In fact, if anyone here would like to play that with me, send me a pm.

I’m inspired by what Nona has suggested. I’ll soon be getting an eye gaze device, and after I’ve had a chance to familiarize myself with it, I’m sure I’ll have more suggestions.

Unfortunately boredom appears to be a big part of living with ALS, especially not being able to drive or speak and being dependent on others for so much. I find that visiting with friends helps keep me going, but I can see how friend visits might diminish as the disease progresses. Sometimes just a change of scenery is helpful, like sitting outside, hanging out in a park, or going to a movie theatre.

Best of luck on managing this challenging problem.
 

gardenvessel

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welcome! I hope you get some great ideas here - it may partly depend on her interests.
I know one member completes online courses and finds this really exercises her brain.

Is there something Jen might enjoy learning?
That's a great idea I hadn't thought of. Before ALS she was usually taking an online class each quarter. I think she's wanting more escapism than education can provide. It's a good suggestion I'll keep on my list. Thanks!
 

gardenvessel

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CALS
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03/2018
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US
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WA
There is now the option to control the game Minecraft with eyegaze using Minecraft Eyemine. It's a huge virtual "sandbox"/building game with both survival and creative modes. It wouldn't appeal to everyone but it's very popular and can be played multiplayer either locally or online. It might take a while to get the idea of all the possibilities if you haven't heard of it but there are many youtube videos about it. It could possibly be a creative outlet in "creative mode" too.

Or what about eyegaze art? Check out "Eyegaze artist" @sarahezekiel on twitter.
What!! Eyegaze Minecraft?! That's amazing. Definitely checking that out.
 

ShiftKicker

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If you do a search online of "adaptive videogaming" there are multiple resources that pop up. The Reeve Foundation has an excellent information page. Brainfingers is another good site.
 

gardenvessel

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It is definitely hard to fill a day sometimes, especially if you want time away from screens. I don't know what I'd do without my Tobii; as boring as it can get, it's my lifeline. I watch more TV than I ever have, which includes a lot of baseball and occasionally golf or tennis. Looking forward to football season, and envious of you west coasters who don't have to stay up til midnight for prime time games. I also spend time on Facebook and on this forum, read a lot of news when I can stomach it, and listen to books. I catch up on the late night shows on YouTube. I just started doing the New York times crossword puzzle on line, which is good for my idle brain. I am able to text with friends using the Pulse SMS website, compatible with an Android phone. I used to like to write poetry but I feel like I've lost eloquence or inspiration. I know where your pALS is coming from, it's hard to be in forced retirement without the physical freedom to do whatever you want. Is she on this forum? Because perhaps engaging here would fill up some time?
Thank you for your insight here.

She is not on this forum, but she is aware of it.

We have a smart tv with the main streaming services and she's got control of the remote. Fortunately we like a lot of the same stuff.

I will definitely have her check out Pulse SMS since she has an Android. She uses FB messenger mainly, but she has a couple close friends who aren't on it and have been using me to communicate with her (or just don't talk to her at all :( ).
 

gardenvessel

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Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
11
Reason
CALS
Diagnosis
03/2018
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US
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WA
Is “words with friends” playable using eye gaze? I play that daily. In fact, if anyone here would like to play that with me, send me a pm.

I’m inspired by what Nona has suggested. I’ll soon be getting an eye gaze device, and after I’ve had a chance to familiarize myself with it, I’m sure I’ll have more suggestions.

Unfortunately boredom appears to be a big part of living with ALS, especially not being able to drive or speak and being dependent on others for so much. I find that visiting with friends helps keep me going, but I can see how friend visits might diminish as the disease progresses. Sometimes just a change of scenery is helpful, like sitting outside, hanging out in a park, or going to a movie theatre.

Best of luck on managing this challenging problem.
I don't know if she's tried WWF, but we know that Scrabble online is unplayable. It fills the screen too much and certain buttons are blocked.

She doesn't go outside and that's mostly my fault (my #1 guilt actually). It's a daunting and time-consuming task. Worth it, though, I know.
 

gardenvessel

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Joined
Aug 22, 2019
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CALS
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03/2018
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US
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WA
Hi Erin,

Does she have enough jaw movement for a Tetramouse? The developer is actually in Woodinville, so maybe you could get a loaner to try out.

Has she tried the Tobii software that works with the Surface? That combination is said to be more responsive than the Tobii hardware.

There have also been favorable comments in re the Hawkeye + iPad combination, and another iPad option would be a switch taped to the jaw muscle that has movement, connected via the Tecla or other switch interface.

Best,
Laurie
Tetramouse looks VERY cool. Money is tight, so buying any computers is out, but this looks affordable. She's only used the Tobii Dynavox that we got from the loaner closet. I'll check with this manufacturer and the loaner closet to see what options they have. Thanks!
 
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