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Crazy But Lazy Digital Designs Studio

Reflections on The Cancer Game Video Game (page 1 of 3)

August 23, 2013 is what I consider the ten year anniversary of The Cancer Game. The Cancer Game is a web-playable game that I co-designed with Yuko Oda, who at the time was a professor at Albright College. The game, from my perspective, wa designed to induce a positive mood in a cancer patient, which could in turn potentially improve their overall health by improving the immune system through an improved mental state. Basically, a happier person can have a happier immune system.

Counsel, aka the lawyers, noted at the time, it was advisable -not- to release the game, because the end of project research I performed showed that there was one, you could say, glitch in my code. If someone unintended played the game, someone with an autoimmune disease, meaning their immune system is already too active, they could potentially be harmed ( although temporary ) by the game suggesting their immune system become more activated. Please note I was never able to prove this, I was just not able to -disprove- it at the time.

I've pondered over the past ten years about how to effectively apply what I learned. The game was release to the public, played tens of thousands of times, but it was never actually marketed. The game story -did- make the cover of the local newspaper, which is always an accomplishment. I found out later on, that the original intent of the game, to use an external system of sound, visuals, and the like, falls under the cross-disciplinary field of human-computer-interaction psychoneuroimmunology. ( I guess we could call it HCI/PNI? )

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