May 27, 2010

Games for Health information in Cancer

Games can be a serious source of health information.Especially for the younger age group. Re-Mission is a game designed to engage young cancer patients through entertaining game play while impacting specific psychological and behavioral outcomes associated with successful cancer treatment.

The Re-Mission video game for teens and young adults with cancer was released by the nonprofit HopeLab on April 3, 2006. The game is a Microsoft Windows based third-person shooter based in the serious games genre. The game was conceived by Pam Omidyar and designed based on HopeLab research, direct input from young cancer patients and oncology doctors and nurses, and game developer Realtime Associates, among others.

The game addresses the importance of:
• Compliance with oral chemotherapy regimens and prescribed medications
• Prompt symptom reporting, even if the symptoms appear unrelated to cancer
• Proper nutrition to increase the body’s ability to fight cancer
• Anxiety, nausea and pain management through breathing and muscle relaxation exercise

Re-Mission takes the player on a journey through the body of young patients with different kinds of cancer. . Re-Mission is designed to be fun and challenging, while helping players stick to their prescribed treatments and giving them a sense of power and control over their disease.In Re-Mission, the player controls an RX5-E ("Roxxi") nanobot who is designed to be injected into the human body and fight particular types of cancer and related infections such as non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia, at a cellular level. The player must also monitor patient health and report any symptoms back to Dr. West (the in-game doctor and project leader). Each of the 20 levels is designed to inform the patient on a variety of treatments, how they function, and the importance of maintaining strict adherence to those treatments. Various "weapons" are used, such as the Chemoblaster, Radiation Gun, and antibiotic rocket.

HopeLab makes Re-Mission available at no charge to young people with cancer and their families, as well as oncology healthcare workers and institutions around the world. Copies are also distributed at no charge to others, though donations are accepted

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