Moving America Forward

The Power of Video Games to Heal America’s Heroes, A Surefire Way to Keep Students in School and More

May 6, 2016
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The Power of Video Games to Heal America’s Heroes, A Surefire Way to Keep Students in School and More
Playing video games has been shown to be therapeutic for injured soldiers during recovery. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Take a break from the regular news cycle and check out these NationSwell must-reads, which uncover solutions that are moving America forward.


How Games Are Helping Veterans Recover from Injury, Polygon
U.S. Army Major Erik Johnson discovered the healing power of video games firsthand while recovering from a horrible car accident. Today, the occupational therapist serves as Chief Medical Officer for Operation Supply Drop, a nonprofit that taps the therapeutic benefits of technology to help veterans and active service members recover from physical injuries, mental struggles, memory and cognitive problems and more. Sure, it’s unconventional to put a Nintendo Wii controller in a soldier’s hand during therapy, but the results are undeniable: reestablishing “themselves as an able body person who can enjoy things they used to enjoy.”

What Can Stop Kids From Dropping Out? New York Times
The massive amount of outstanding student loan debt might not be the biggest problem when it comes to higher education. What is? The fact that almost half of college freshmen fail to earn a bachelor’s degree within six years. Dropout rates are highest amongst minorities, first-generation undergrads and low-income individuals, but through advisory sessions at the first sign of trouble, classes that offer immediate feedback, tiny grants of just a few hundred dollars and more, George State University is helping these traditionally poor-performing students achieve higher graduation rates than their white peers.

The Bag Bill, The New Yorker
A self-described child of hippie parents, Jennie Romer fondly recalls visiting the local recycling facility with her parents. The weekly trips clearly had an impact on Romer, who’s spent much of her adulthood fighting for plastic bag bans. Success has been plentiful in California, with San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles all passing ordinances against the notorious environmental menace. Now Romer has her sights set on implementing a fee on plastic bags in the country’s largest metropolis. Will she add the Big Apple to her list of triumphs?

Editors’ note: Since the publication of the New Yorker article, the New York City Council has approved a 5-cent fee on plastic bags. 

MORE: The High-Energy Activity That’s Healing the Invisible Scars of War

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