TECH SA: Local company creates virtual reality wheelchair basketball game

IMG Studio's game offers rehabilitation potential

By Tiffany Huertas - Video Journalist, Jason Foster - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A local digital media content development company designed a game for the South Texas Regional Adaptive and Para Sports at Morgan’s Wonderland.

The San Antonio company IMG Studio created a virtual reality basketball game for wheelchair athletes.

Andrew Jacobson created the virtual reality game.

“You can look around it's fully immersive. We created the environment actually based on the Spurs stadium initially, just to give them a bigger sense of scale and significance of when they're playing the game,” Jacobson said.

Players can experience playing basketball as an athlete in a wheelchair.

“Silver and Black Give Back is the nonprofit arm of Spurs Sports Entertainment. They gave a grant to Straps, and then Straps said 'Hey we want to do something to recruit kids to play wheelchair basketball,'” James Chandler, president of Interactive Media said.

Chandler said the company talked to doctors after creating the game and they found it had major potential for rehabilitation.

“It started as more of a fun like get people involved and now it actually has kind of morphed into also kind of a rehabilitative process as well,” Chandler said. “We started bringing it to some doctors and showing them and they started seeing some rehabilitation type of stuff that they could use for.” While this game can change a player's life, it's also changing those who created it.

“Taking it out to workshops in places where kids can play that are in wheelchairs and seeing them become excited about being represented in a industry that maybe doesn't always look to them for games to make,” Jacobson said.

The company hopes to launch the second version of this game, before the new year. The new game will allow players to play against computer opponents. 

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