Health Games use fun gameplay to deliver healthy messages about health-related "serious" topics. Since 2001, Archimage has been developing health games covering a range of topics from disease prevention in children to treatment decision-making in seniors.
Archimage Health Games
Escape from Diab is an NIH-funded serious PC adventure in healthy eating and exercise that focuses on obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention. The game combines character-driven storytelling, 3D computer animation, and health-focused gameplay with evidence-based behavior modification theories. The story centers around five children who must get healthy enough to escape the evil King Etes. Over 60 minutes of computer animated cutscenes guide the player through goal setting, problem solving, energy balance, and other gameplay activities.
Nanoswarm is a role-playing PC adventure, funded by the NIH, which is designed to target obesity and type 2 diabetes in children. Nanoswarm is the story of four teenage scientists and the player, nicknamed Wings, who are must save the world from an plague that threatens the health of the global community and pilot a microscopic ship through the body of Fred, their friend who suddenly became ill from an unknown condition that threatens the health of the world. As Wings, the player must set and achieve real life goals to eat more fruit and vegetables and be physically active to win the game.
Comfort Zone: Prostate Cancer Treatment Options
Comfort Zone is a web-based game, designed for the Abramson Center for the Future of Health. It gives recently diagnosed Prostate Cancer patients the ability to explore their questions and concerns about treatment options. The game uses friendly spin-the-wheel and card game mechanics, making play easy for older adult audiences. This is coupled with a complex data matrix, backed by baseline patient data and post treatment surveys. Through gameplay, patients are able to create an informed list of questions for their doctor.
Baylor College of Medicine: Squire's Quest! 2
The Squire's Quest! 2 research project is the follow-up to CNRC's successful Squire's Quest! project. Eight animated characters interact with the player, a Squire, who must save the mediaeval Kingdom of Fivealot from the sneaky King Ssynster by meeting FJV goals and earning enough badges to become a Knight. Squire's Quest! 2 includes over 60 minutes of animation which guides the player through a rich storyline, ten casual games, a virtual kitchen, and FJV behavior-change components.
Baylor College of Medicine: Family Eats 2
Baylor College of Medicine was funded to give the 2004 Family Eats program a face-lift to appeal to today's modern African-American mom. A new web environment complete with custom artwork and animated characters. Like its predecessor, Family Eats 2 includes educational animations, custom designed admin tools, and personal tracking for the site visitor. The program aims to address barriers busy families face when trying to plan and prepare healthy meals together.
National Cancer Institute: ASA24 Dietary Recall Tool
The goal of this project was to create an engaging, user-friendly experience to replace traditional costly dietary recall interviews with a registered dietician. The software includes tutorials for respondents, an animated character guide, quick food list browsing, and back-end technology so researchers can add their own text scripts, study logo, and monitor study progress.
Playnormous Health Games
Designed to educate kids and their parents about meal balance and how to effectively use the 5-A-Day plan by adding fruit and vegetables to lunchtime meals. The player must help the lunch line by filling school trays with two fruit or vegetables.
This Playnormous original tests knowledge of food selection, portion size, meal balance, and fruit/vegetable choice in a retro watercolor world. Give your entire brain a workout as Professor Mad Monster grades your reaction time, vocabulary level, math skills, and problem-solving abilities. - caca
Uses online game play to empower kids and their parents to make more informed choices regarding fruit drink selection. Players explore the oftentimes confusing topic of beverage content by chaining drinks that contain 100% fruit juice, only some fruit juice, and no fruit juice.
The first online games created exclusively for Playnormous. Kids and their parents learn to distinguish between different levels of physical activity by helping an underwater monster, Chicken Dawg, collect his aerobic exercise minutes for the day. But be careful, popping strength activity bubbles yield no aerobic minutes, and sedentary activities turn into rocks which block the screen. - caca
Funded by The Aetna Foundation as part of the Games for Wellness collaborative led by Dr. Cynthia Phelps and the University of Texas Health Science Center. This online game targets 3rd - 5th graders to teach and change behavior around food choice and portion control.
About Health Games
Archimage immersed itself in the Games for Health industry back in 2001 with its first health-related project. Today, Archimage is a leader in the development of health-related games and interactive media.
Serious Games for Health combine health-related messages on "serious" topics with engaging gameplay. A Game for Health can be created to:
- Change the player's health behavior, such as getting a child to eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Change the player's attitude about a health topic, perhaps resulting in getting a player to realize that being more physically active isn't that difficult to achieve.
- Increase the player's knowledge about a health topic, such as nutrition.
- Help the player make a difficult health decision, like choosing a cancer treatment option.
- Engage the player to make an otherwise boring topic fun
- Entice the player to return to a health-related website.
Working with Researchers
There are very few design firms or game studios that focus their time on creating Games for Health. Why? Because it's an emerging field. This is quickly changing as more and more in the medical, health, and research industries discover games as a viable option for changing the health of the public. It's nice to know we started early and are ahead of the pack!
Archimage is one of the very few private companies focusing on Games for Health. As a private entity, we have the advantage of being able to hire the best in the business, form our own creative teams, take risks, and think outside the box. Our games are used by researchers, patients, teachers, and start-ups.
Our work combines the expertise of leading medical institutions with highly interactive gameplay. Our clients and medical research partners include:
- Baylor College of Medicine
- USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center
- National Institutes of Health
- National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases
- National Cancer Institute
- Abramson Center for the Future of Health
- The University of Texas Health Science Center
- U.S. Department of Agriculture FNS
- Rice University
- Methodist Hospital Research Institute