Six month mark for mobile game fighting Dementia
Monday, November 21st, 2016 | News
A mobile game called Sea Hero Quest recently celebrated its sixth month of release: The game has been specifically designed to gather data from users in a bid to help fight dementia. The game is a result of a collaboration between Alzheimer’s Research UK and Glitchers, a London based game development company. The game represents a new way of capturing scientific data that would otherwise take far longer in a lab-based scenario.
The game involves users navigating their way around levels in order to recover the journal entries of the protagonist’s grandad. Players must memorise specific routes in order to progress levels, along with other tasks that test the player's spatial awareness including shooting a flare in the direction that they began the level.
Data is collected from every aspect of user’s playstyles, along with optional information such as age and gender. Scientists use the data to build profile of how different genders and different age groups play the game. Since the game's release six months ago, 2.4 million people have played the title; the data gathered during this period has helped scientists show that spatial navigation awareness actual declines with age. Players aged 19 had an accuracy rate of 74% for correctly finding the path, whilst 75 year olds had a lower score of 49%
The study is the biggest dementia research project ever conducted, just two minutes of gameplay equals 5 hours of comparable lab research. This kind of technology could be huge in the fight against many neurological diseases as it grants scientists the ability to collect mass amounts of data instantaneously.