The Global Challenge
At the Troy Commencement, President Jackson also challenged graduates to make a positive difference in the lives of others, saying “individuals, through their work, have the potential to improve livesand perhaps to save lives.”
Four Class of 2008 graduates are doing just that through projects such as a video game for the disabled and a playground-powered water pump for a small school in Cusco, Peru.
Jennifer Ash, Zach Barth, and Peter Mueller led an interdisciplinary team to create a groundbreaking interactive game simulation called the CapAbility Games Research Project, which helps individuals with disabilities develop life skills and increase autonomy. The students collaborated with the Adult Services Division of the Center for Disability Services in Albany to develop a game called “Capable Shopper” that addresses the needs of the center’s consumers.
The game simulates a shopping trip at a local Price Chopper supermarket, where “players” maneuver through the virtual grocery store using a specially designed joystick or a head mouse. (The virtual store is based on blueprints obtained from an area Price Chopper where the center’s consumers often shop.) A computer monitor set up directly in front of the user simulates the layout of the store, and a second monitor to the left displays a virtual shopping list. Users start the game by selecting a meal they’d like to makesuch as a spaghetti dinner, a holiday ham, or even rotini with Alfredo lobster sauceand then find all the items that compose it. Consumers at the center have successfully used the game, and a permanent installation of Capable Shopper in the services center was completed in May.