How NuBrix Evolved
As a successful builder for the last 30 years, NuBrix developer Ron Bittner had no idea that someday he’d take on the challenge of creating a game that could provide help for patients suffering from mental disorders.
The seeds were planted in the mid 80's when Bittner’s younger brother Mark was stricken with a brain injury, and the ensuing 15 years he suffered while in a number of mental institutions.
At that time little was known about treating patients diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), just one of hundreds of other mental disorder diagnoses. Few options existed to interact with Mark; to see any significant social and cognitive connectivity, just the prescription regimen available. With no known modalities for significantly rebuilding a sense of purpose for this patient, Ron and his family had to stand by feeling virtuously helpless while Mark’s mind unraveled.
Even today, most recently published studies including the CDC's Government Health Surveillance Fact Sheet report that about 25 percent of all U.S. adults have a mental illness, and that nearly 50 percent of U.S. adults will develop at least one mental illness during their lifetime.
Ron investigated the possibility of some means to increase the level of interaction among therapists and patients, along with other families and friends confronting these challenges with loved ones. Ron soon understood simple focus and repetition was the key. NuBrix had to be made for all ages.
During research and development of the game, it became evident to inventor Ron Bittner that specific basic concepts had to capture both cognitive and motor skills. He realized that the two skills are inherent to winning experiences for patients in therapy. "The family is an integral part of the equation" Ron explained. "In the process of designing NuBrix, I was ever mindful of this need to provide family, friends, and counselors interactivity and empowerment as well, enabling them to become this vital part of a patient's journey to recovery."
NuBrix addresses the cognitive process with three basic concepts for the brain to identify - shapes, color and numbers. Ron added that creating the 3D concept energized the motor skill aspect, which creates a spatial orientation environment on its own. What has developed is a 'high touch' technology directed toward organic intervention for multiple neuro cognitive venues.
It’s been many years now to bear fruition, and Bittner explained the patent-pending game design and function tapped upon his own construction expertise. Naming the game Nubrix came from the Neuro basis and the connecting process of the brain pathways to new experiences bit by bit. Playing NuBrix games provides simple focus activities designed to create an "in the moment" experience for building relationships while having fun connecting.
Nubrix has been introduced as a recreational intervention activity for active military and veteran programs addressing PTSD, TBI and extreme stress cases.
Because it is a situational and multi-level engagement activity it can provide the facilitators an assessment tool for any level of play, basic or complex.
“I have observed changes in patients with one session while using Nubrix. It helps us break down the walls that hinder the healing and therapy process.”
- Marlene Hahn, US Navy Medical Center, San Diego’s Lead Recreational Therapist
This is the common denominator players experience ... it’s what we call "The NuBrix Effect."
Focus. Build. Connect