I want to dedicate this post to my friend Marcelo de Vasconcellos (link here), a brazilian researcher with an interesting work with the theme “videogames as means of communication in health”.
I’ll talk about DIDGET in this text. DIDGET is a medical apparatus with blood glucose monitoring system launched by pharmaceutical company Bayer in a partnership with NINTENDO. It was launched in 2010, but I think it's still a good case for discussion.
This health project highlights the concept of “ludification” and reinforces the idea of the use of elements from the ludic universe in another areas of knowledge.
DIDGET connects with the Nintendo DS system and rewards consistent testing with unlockable minigames. The system does not require a Nintendo DS to operate but has this special feature with the videogame. The site GamaSutra describes better the functioning of the medical apparatus: “when connected to the Game Boy Advance cartridge slot on Nintendo DS and DS Lite systems, DIDGET converts blood glucose test results into reward points”.
My friend Marcelo de Vasconcellos posted another good example of games in health area in his site. It’s about Intera, a software that works with Microsoft’s Kinect to be used during surgeries. The video below is in Portuguese, but the images speak for themselves.
I believe in a near future full of ludic interface interaction in the health area. I think we’ll see more and more uses for game mechanics and gaming concepts inside this field. Why? Because game is not only about fun, game is a language to be used in different and unusual fields of knowledge.
GamaSutra (link here)
Marcelo de Vasconcellos (link here)