Video games have become the unlikely hero in a serious revolution. As we make the shift towards a more digitalised society, the demand for educational games is growing. Games are being targeted as potential therapeutic tools. They’re even being used as a means to combat dementia.
In collaboration with Deutsche Telekom, Alzheimer’s Research, and scientists from the University of East Anglia and University College London, UK studio Glitchers developed Sea Hero Quest, a serious game designed to help identify the onset of dementia.
It plays like a seabound adventure in which players become a sea captain that must sail through rivers, shores, marshes, chase after magical creatures, and jot down important memories in a journal. Sometimes Sea Hero Quest will ask you to remember where you’ve been, and ask you to return there; it anonymously keeps track of your navigational data, which is then stored and translated into scientific data.
According to statistics from the World Health Organisation, an estimated 75 million people are currently living with dementia. One of the first symptoms is a decline in navigational skills.
First released as an app for Android and iOS, Sea Hero Quest has been downloaded almost three million times. Now it’s making the journey to Oculus Rift, where it is hoped that virtual reality will record bodily gestures with greater accuracy.