Friday, July 10, 2009

Slay yon cancer with mighty video game

So, Re-Mission™ looks pretty badass. You kill purple things, which I presume are cancers. You learn a ton, have fun in the process, and can immediately apply your knowledge to your own real fight against cancer (which I hope you never get, or at least have battled into remission). From the site:
Results showed that a specially designed video game can have positive impact on health behaviors in young people with chronic illness. Specifically, playing Re-Mission improved treatment adherence and produced increases in self-efficacy, and cancer-related knowledge for adolescents and young adults with cancer.
I think that's fantastic. I used to volunteer in a pediatric oncology ward when I was in undergrad, and the kids were always desperate for fun ways to distract themselves; they all would have eaten up this game with a spoon, assuming the quality of gameplay isn't too shabby. This may have given each of them a greater sense of control over the disease, and armed each of them with correct information to help fight the good fight.

Also, you get to look like this:

I haven't played Re-Mission™ yet, although the visuals look immersive without being too scary. I think the purple helps.

Per their website, HopeLab has handed out over 142,000 copies of this to kids with cancer all over the world, free of charge. Here's the best part: it seems to work. I say 'seems to' because I do not have a subscription to Pediatrics, so I can't read the data that HopeLab published. I'm assuming it reads like a battle scene from Harry Potter, only with torpedoes and a side effect of healthiness.

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