MOBILE GAMES FOR MICROBIOLOGY, SCIENCE AND HEALTHCARE
Antibiotic resistance is a major health concern that kills approximately 25,000 people per year in Europe. This increasing problem is caused by several factors, including overuse and misuse of antibiotics in healthcare. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics drives the evolution of antibiotic resistance bacteria - these bacteria cannot be killed by current antibiotic medicines.
To educate young people on this important topic, Game Dr designed an engaging and entertaining game to visualize the mechanism of resistance and how it influences bacterial populations.
Bacteria Combat started off as a basic card game. Developing a card game prototype of a mobile application is really useful for testing the educational content and game content. Testing of the card game with primary school students showed compelling evidence that a game could educate on this topic, and helped Game Dr secure grant funding from University of Glasgow, Public Health England, Biochemical Society and Royal Society of Biology to develop a mobile application.
The mobile game is played a a multiplayer card battle game, with each player having both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria cards in their deck. Players use their strongest card and battle their opponent! Antibiotic cards are also hidden within the deck and easily knock out bacteria that have low resistance scores.
DISSEMINATION AND IMPACT
Bacteria Combat mobile game was released initially in 2015 and received approximately 5000 downloads on Android and iOS. The game is used in schools and universities in the U.K and US to educate students on diversity in bacteria and antibiotic resistance.
Fungal Invaders is a retro mini-game designed to educate on fungal infections and they drugs we use to threat them. This exciting mobile game was developed for University of Aberdeen Fungal Research Group. The aim was to develop an interactive and immersive exhibition that would also include digital games played on arcade gaming machines. University of Aberdeen approached Game Dr to design an educational and engaging game that would teach players on the fascinating world of fungi.
The first stage of the project involved extensive research and design; the Game Dr team focused on reviewing current scientific research in this field to design a simple yet effective game. The game concept was reviewed by scientists, public engagement professionals and students at Aberdeen and was approved for development. The team then focused on developing a prototype game that was tested with users and stakeholders to assess it’s educational content and engagement factor. The prototype was then developed into a digital arcade style game called Fungal Invaders.
DISSEMINATION AND IMPACT
Fungal Invaders was exhibited as part of an educational museum exhibit called Killer Fungus, that was installed at Aberdeen Science Centre, Royal Society Summer Exhibition and Manchester Science Festival. The mobile games were also published on Apple and Google Play application stores and are available for free download on iOS and Android devices.