IRVINE — As Anna Origel leaned back and forth in a wheelchair at UC Irvine, a soccer goalie on the computer screen in front of her danced left and right, trying to block her shots.
When Origel reclined, even just an inch, the goalie in the game went to the right. When she leaned forward, it went left.
She missed the ball every time, leaning too far back and then too far forward.
"This is really hard, this should be a video game," said the Regional Occupation Program, or ROP, nursing student from Laguna Hills High School.
Missing the ball is common when able-bodied visitors try the equipment, said Kelli Sharp, doctor of therapy.
Origel doesn't normally use a wheelchair, but for those with spinal cord or brain injuries, the system offers more than entertainment.
The chair's seat and back can read a patient's mobility, coordination and strength.
It has the look and feel of a game, making it less tedious for patients. But for researchers, it was a way to collect data from those with paralyzing injuries.