Tourette’s relief through videogames

Mike Schiller at Polygon relates how his daughter found relief from her painful coughing tic through the DS game Planet Puzzle League.

Video games allow her to engage her brain in a way that forces her to process and respond to audiovisual stimuli, without the pressure to be evaluated that comes with so many of her other activities. For someone with Tourette’s syndrome, engagement involves actively “doing” an activity rather than just taking it in; a conscious motor skill must also be involved, or else the brain will provide one — a tic. Games, through their audiovisual stimulation and the requirement of user input, offer stretches of relaxation that her brain wouldn’t allow for her if she were to simply lie in bed, listen to music, or watch TV.