Video games have been blamed for a lot of things – violence, poor school results, crime, murders and you name it – all of which couldn’t be further from the truth. On the bright side – it’s being used to battle cancer.
Oncologists in India will soon hand over video games to young patients for better adherence to treatment protocols. The video games would pit the player against virtual cancer cells in a series of intra-body combats. When cancer patients, particularly teenagers, who play these games, they learn all about battling bacterial infections and managing side-effects of different forms of therapy.
The game is called “Re-Mission” – which puts cancer patients into a virtual world where they get to destroy cancer cells, battle bacteria and manage side effects, all through a nifty little nano bot called ‘Roxxi’ . The thought behind this is that it promises to give patients a sense of control and a sense of victory on what’s going in in their lives. Apart from that, it also aims to educate young patients about the disease, all through a more familiar and fun format.
The game has been developed by the NGO Hopewell Foundation and will brought out in India by Kartavya Healtheon. Studies by the NGO had shown that a specially designed video game can have a positive impact on the behavior of young people with chronic illnesses. “The feedback we received was good. We wanted Indian patients to learn about the disease. The game is a bit self-indulgent, but it is fun,” Nayak said.
According to Psycho-oncologist Dr E Vidubala of Adyar Cancer Institute, Chennai, “When an elderly person is affected, there is always someone who brings in the balance. But with children, most parents get anxious. To give information to youngsters in an entertaining way is also challenging . If computer games can do that, it will be worthwhile.”
Children like Sanjay Hegde, a 12-year-old cancer patient was excited when he heard of a computer game. “I would like to see those lethal cancer cells die,” he said.
But what excited his parents, Srikanth and Savitha Hegde was that he would know that the hair he lost after chemotherapy will grow after the treatment and the nutrition in his food will help him regain energy required for his favorite game, tennis.
Source: India Times