SXSW 2014: Revenge of the Cancer-Fighting Nanobots

By | 2016-11-04T16:57:40+00:00 April 22, 2014|Innovation, SXSW, Video, Viewpoints|

When you’re dealing with cancer, the disease isn’t the only thing you’re fighting. For kids and teens, long and often difficult treatment regimens feel like battles themselves.

In this session, “Revenge of the Cancer-Fighting Nanobots,” the team at HopeLab discussed a series of games they’ve developed for kids and teens that dramatize the cancer-fighting process. Games like Re-Mission 2 are actually proving to significantly increase treatment adherence in this age group. Sound too good to be true?

Fred Dillon, Director of Product Development, and Richard Tate, VP of Communications and Marketing, explained how the team at HopeLab identified 3 ingredients that are able to create health behavior change in games:

  1. Create positive emotions. Early wins are essential. Kids need to feel successful from the beginning to encourage them to keep fighting.
  2. Demonstrate self-sufficiency. Instill a belief that they can actually do the kinds of things needed to meet the challenge. Show progress and success along the way.
  3. Shift attitudes. Rebrand the thing they consider a drag, in this case medication, as something positive, a powerful weapon in the fight.

The fact is, if adherence to cancer medication drops by as little as 20%, the chance of cancer returning increases by an astonishing 50%. Games that HopeLab has created are showing amazing results, increasing adherence by an impressive 20%.

It’s time we shifted our thinking about games and made them an integral part of our disease-fighting arsenal. We know that games have the ability to add joy and entertainment to our lives. Now, evidence is revealing that games also have the very real ability to save lives.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Well-designed games can be a serious way to fight disease.


About the Author:

Alec Pollak
VP, Director of User Experience and Content Marketing

One Comment

  1. Allison April 22, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    very cool!

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