It isn’t too often that the worlds of mobile gaming and scientific health endeavours collide, but that’s exactly what’s happening thanks to a new collaboration between Psyon Games and GSK. The former is a small, Finnish mobile games start up and the latter? A leading scientific pharma and healthcare company. Together they hope to harness the power of mobile games to raise vaccine awareness.
Psyon Games first made a name for themselves in the health field through the development of their mobile hit Antidote. In it, players take control of the human body’s inner defences at a cellular level, all in the effort to fight off harmful disease. Antidote was purposely designed to entertain and inspire. As a bonus, it can also educate about cells, with its simulated gameplay raising important scientific questions while the player enjoys playing and mastering the game.
Noticing this explicit attention to detail, Antidote gained recognition from the World health Organisation and the vaccine board of the parliament of Finland, going on to win the “Applied game of the year” award by the Finnish game industry. The game’s successes look to continue even more so now, thanks to this collaboration where it will appear on GSK’s Finnish vaccine website rokote.fi.
GSK’s hope is to more widely demonstrate why vaccines are the most important health factor today in addition to nutrition and clean water. This is the nature of vaccines preventing further spread of diseases early on – they work via action, rather than reaction. Psyon Games are well aware of the ignorance paid towards scientific research today, especially from certain higher ups with the power to do something. Thus, they were more than happy to help.
CEO of Psyon Games, Olli Rundgren, has made his thoughts clear on the matter. “Games can prevent the birth of prejudices, when easy game mechanics show the player how vaccines actually work,” he says. “Our game is highly accessible and designed for both those who are new to tower defence, as well as young men, a target audience that games have no trouble targeting, but which GSK has found challenging to engage with.”
As its latest achievement, Antidote also convinced the Finnish game industry veteran Peter Vesterbacka to invest in the pursuit and cause Psyon Games is chasing with this joint venture. Vesterbacka explained: “This was a no-brainer. Psyon Games combines science and games in a brave and creative way to create new business models. Spreading vaccine awareness is such a great challenge that it requires this type of ambition from the makers.”
Both GSK and Psyon Games are adamant that Antidote’s big push is merely the first phase of a pilot project between the two. Should this one garner the momentum needed to be considered a success, don’t be too surprised if you see more attempts in the mobile market to raise the awareness of vaccine importance.
This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.