The History of EASe Games
· Created in 1995, EASe music CDs were the first disc based sound therapy program for brain-injured hypersensitive children in the world.
· Nearly 100,000 EASe CDs have been sold.
· EASe CDs are used by many thousands of therapists, schools and non-profit organizations worldwide.
· EASe Games are the first sensory integration software for autistic children.
· A Grammy nominated, NASA software developer with years of experience helping brain-injured children created EASe music CDs and EASe Games.
· EASe Games can assist a hurt child to cope with noise and improve balance, visual memory and proprioception.
· EASe Games are FUN, engaging therapeutic activities that children love.
· EASe Listening Therapy apps represent the future of therapeutic software systems designed to help children and adults with sensory processing disorder.
William P Mueller is a Grammy nominated audio engineer, instructor and curriculum designer. Since 1975, he has engineered music and sound for over 100 major artists and two presidents of the US. He spent five years as a professional video editor and was the chief engineer and senior vice president of the Sheffield Institute for the Recording arts for 25 years.
In 2000 Bill added software designer to his resume, designing SpaceStationSim, the first video game developed in collaboration with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He designed systems engineering and integration (SE&I) software for the NASA Constellation Ares I, Ares V and Orion Moon and Mars vehicles and the FAA Next Gen air traffic control system. He also designed software for Raytheon and QSS Corporation, and negotiated and signed development contracts with each.
Bill has been an advocate for brain-injured children since 1982. At that time, he was invited to join the board of directors of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia, Tokyo, Mexico City and Livorno Italy. He spent 18 years on their board and as vice chairman became the most educated board member in their treatment of brain-injured children. For many years, Bill’s family and he traveled to Philadelphia from Baltimore on a weekly basis and lived among the children who were being treated there. In 1995 his interests in audio perception led him to develop Electronic Auditory Stimulation effect (EASe) music CDs to help hurt children learn to cope with noise.
Physical, Occupational and Sensory Integration therapists quickly recognized the value of EASe music CDs and incorporated EASe into sensory integration programs. At this time, there are nearly 10,000 therapists, non-profit organizations and schools both public and private using EASe CDs. Nearly 100,000 EASe CDs have been sold world wide, making EASe one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind.
Over the years, parents have asked what activities are acceptable for their children while listening to their EASe music. Can they read a book? Yes, of course. Can they watch TV? Well, not with the sound up, so that is not a great option. Can they play with toys? Yes, of course. Can they play a video game? That question kept coming up, as many children on the autism spectrum love computers and games. However the answer was still: not with the sound up.
Then in late 2007 Bill decided to combine his audio skills and software design experience to create the first sensory integration games for children on the autism spectrum. The games needed to be non violent and able to improve the effectiveness of the EASe soundtrack, by providing visual challenges to a child's visual/vestibular sensory experience in the way that EASe music challenges a child's auditory response. He chose to design driving and flying games because they accomplished the criteria handily. In addition, he wanted to provide brain-injured children an experience within the virtual world that they could not experience in real life. The games needed to be extremely easy to play, requiring only a mouse to operate, with no complex keyboard commands. EASe Games are compatible with Windows XP, Vista (not recommended though) and Windows 7 (excellent!).
The first EASe Game was EASe Off Road. It is a driving game, where the player careens around in a dune buggy, bouncing over hills and valleys and tagging targets. The targets appear in the far field with a host of distractions like plants and trees in the near field to challenge the players visual tracking, concentration and memory. The bouncing of the vehicle creates a topsy-turvy virtual vestibular environment to challenge the player’s visual orientation. Therapists watching their patients play often report feeling dizzy, exactly as we intended. The game sound track is EASe-encoded music, the player listens to using headphones.
· EASe Games present a multi sensory environment to challenge and enable children to develop their sensory awareness and orientation.
· EASe Snowmobile and Rover are similar to EASe Off Road set on different vehicles and environments.
· EASe Airshow and UFO are flying games utilizing the same techniques as EASe driving games only in an even more 3D space.
· EASe Funhouse Treasure Hunt and EASe Off Road Treasure Hunt add a discrete trial type element to EASe driving games.
EASe Funhouse is an indoor game, where the player drives a toy tractor around in a crazy funhouse while tagging objects. In addition, there is a visual list of objects presented at the top of the screen. The objects are geometric shapes, word cards, dot cards, letter cards, colored balls, faces, etc, etc. The desired item in the list, (for example, a blue star), is enlarged and a voice over says, "Find the blue star!" The child then drives out into the room looking for the object highlighted on the screen. When he tags the object, it takes center screen and a voice says, "Blue star!" At the end of a group of objects the voice says, "Hurray, you're so good at this!" and a new set of objects appears in the list. Therapists will recognize a cleverly disguised discrete trial training program in the form of a game.
That is the genius of EASe Games. Children see them as fun games, we know they are much more.
In late 2010 Mr Mueller contacted Tibor Horvath of Audioforge Labs, a first tier developer of audio products for Apple iDevices, to propose a radical upgrade in the EASe line of products. Mr Mueller wanted to build a software based, EASe encoding app employing the incredible computing power of iDevices, that would out perform hardware devices costing as much as $10,000.00. This inexpensive app could revolutionize occupational therapy by providing sophisticated tools not previously available to the majority of therapists. Mr. Horvath immediately saw the value, agreed to the project and hundreds of emails and thousands of hours of programming later, the EASe Pro and EASe Personal Listening Therapy system is now available and getting recognition from every corner of the therapist community.
At Vision Audio we believe Serious Games are the future of software approaches to treating brain injured children and EASe Games are the vanguard of that movement.