Fighting cancer with video games
HopeLab is a non-profit organization that combines rigorous research with innovative solutions to improve the health and quality of life of young people with chronic illness. What does it mean? They’ve created a PC-based video game, Re-Mission which is a 3D shooter with 20 levels that takes the player on a journey through the bodies of young patients with different kinds of cancer. Players control a nanobot named Roxxi who destroys cancer cells, battles bacterial infections, and manages realistic, life- threatening side effects associated with the disease. Why?
They’re trying to help young cancer patients to fight their disease, but in an unusual way. If you’re playing, it’s much easier to learn and to improve your capabilities. With a video game, you can convince a child that he/she is able to win this battle. That’s why the aims of Hopelab are:
- adherence to cancer medications
- knowledge about cancer information embedded within the game
- quality of life
- self-efficacy: defined as the belief in the ability to take a certain course of action in a challenging situation
- the overall self-efficacy score of the patients increased significantly
- Re-Mission players maintained higher blood levels of chemotherapy and showed higher rates of antibiotic utilization
So this innovative method was helpful in 80% of the patients. By the way, there is a whole community behind it . You can find blogs, message board or lists like this one: What was Your Weirdest Treatment Side Effect?
If you can afford, please support their mission as they plan to create interventions even for sickle-cell disease, obesity, autism or major depressive disorder.
Update: a great video on the subject.