Many of you know that I am a physician who loves marketing, persuasion, humor and making iPhone games. I enjoy it most when I am able to combine all of these elements.
My iPhone game company, Big Goose Egg Games, has as a part of its mission, the gamification of healthcare and learning. (Although, not all of the games are geared towards those things… some are used to test game design, to test gameplay, and some simply to earn some money for the company)
Anyway, gamification is applying game design features to non-games (usually to encourage participation or to make mundane tasks not-so-boring). But recently, I tried using a pre-release version of Guano! to assist with diagnostics in the Emergency Department with my own son. Guano! has almost nothing to do with healthcare or learning, though. I used it because I knew my son’s baseline for playing it – I knew how far he normally gets, how engaged he normally is, etc.
When we ended up in the ED after he banged his head and needed stitches, I made him play Guano! – not for distraction, but to see how close he was to baseline. Of course, I didn’t let him play it for too long since the current recommendations following head trauma are for complete brain rest.
I posted an article about the experience on the Big Goose Egg games site. Check it out: Gamification – Medical Uses For iPhone Games In The ER