It’s well-known that smoking cigarettes is not good for you. A lot of work has been successfully done to discourage young people from picking up the unhealthy
vice. However, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that every day, thousands of people under the age of 18 smoke their first cigarette. I, along with a team of other Jump staff members, are hoping to decrease that trend with the development of an interactive, educational video game.
This project is part of a larger collaborative effort with OSF Saint Francis Medical Center to curb smoking among young people in central Illinois. Jump Simulation is hosting the annual event, Kick Butts on March 14th, 6:00-9:00 p.m. that teaches students in fourth grade through high school about the health risks of smoking in an innovative way.
Most of the time children are exposed to this information through lectures or handouts at school. While lecturing gets the point across, sometimes hands-on experience and visuals can leave a greater lasting impact. I recall going to the Robert Crown Center for Health Education as a kid and actively participating in various demonstrations. To this day, I remember educators inflating a healthy lung and one that’s been damaged by smoking. I was completely grossed out. That lasting image and experience are what Kick Butts wants to leave with its audience.
Smoking from the Inside Out
Kick Butts will feature a number of activities to effectively demonstrate the effect smoking has in and outside the body. Participants will watch a documentary, see different parts of anatomy impacted by smoking and step into Virtual Reality goggles to get up close and personal with the way lung cancer evolves over time.
My part in all of this was to work with designers and biomedical visualization specialists here at Jump to create an interactive and educational video game. The idea is for participants to pilot a ship (a la “Fantastic Voyage”), using an Xbox 360 controller, through a smoker’s airways to destroy a tumor. Along the way, students will learn about the surrounding anatomy and observe what “smoking from the inside” looks like in a real patient.
We quickly designed the video game using the Unity game engine tool. However, we have the ability to turn this game into an even more immersive experience by further developing it for the Virtual Reality space.
The Future of Video Gaming
We are excited about the game we developed for the upcoming Kick Butts event and we believe it will leave a lasting impression on teens who continually face peer pressure to smoke.
Beyond that, creating this game is a great opportunity for Jump to get involved in more education video game development. Video games and similar virtual learning tools have been present in medical simulation for quite some time. What we want to do is provide a fun gaming environment that is both entertaining and educational for users.
In addition, video games have such a wide range of audiences that we could tailor games to both children and adults, scaling up the lesson material and difficulty accordingly. With the help of our designers and biomedical visualization specialists, Jump has a unique opportunity to synergize and create some truly exceptional content.
Unlock your imagination in service of health and medicine as Jump hosts TEDMED Live Streaming this September 10-12 as part of Discover Innovation Month! Invite your peers and colleagues, find inspiration together, and impact the world with your ideas!
Here are 9 reasons why you should watch TEDMED at Jump!
Day 1 – Designed for Care Delivery Providers
1. Turn It Upside Down
There really are better ways of doing things, and it’s been right in front of you all the time. You will look at the world with a fresh perspective, and be inspired to innovate and challenge everything you thought you knew.
2. We Just Don’t Know
The more we know, the more we realize how little we know. There’s always something new to learn and discover. TEDMED speakers will open up new ideas, and Jump will invite you to participate in discussion panels and collaborate with your peers throughout the day. At the end of the day, you’ll walk out knowing just that much more.
3. Flat Out Amazing
Frankly, the effort, ideas, and technology in health care are simply amazing. All the time we hear amazing and inspirational stories of how health care impacts lives – the lives of the patients, and of the providers. At TEDMED Live Streaming, you will hear “stories of the seemingly impossible acts, facts or events that should inspire and dazzle even the most cynical or sophisticated listener,” and you’ll be able to swap stories with your peers.
Day 2 – Designed for Medical Students and Residents
4. Stealing Smart
I invite you to take a look beyond your immediate environment. You may need a solution that can move you from point A to B more easily, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel! The ideas and solutions already exist elsewhere, in other industries, environments, or cultures – it’s just a matter of adapting them to fit your situation!
5. Don’t You Dare Talk About This
Or at least that’s what is expected of us. Difficult conversations are often the most necessary to talk about. Leave your comfort zone for a bit, embrace the ugly and controversial topics, and walk away that much more empowered and aware.
6. Play Is Not a Waste of Time
Sometimes the best way to learn is through harmless experimentation. You don’t really know what is or isn’t possible or best until you get hands on with everything at your disposal. Gamifying learning, such as through simulation, allows students to make mistakes in a safe environment, and practice over and over before operating on an actual patient.
Day 3 – Designed for Community Members
7. Human Nature Inside and Out
It’s said that you can’t change human nature… but we might as well learn from it! We adapt our environments and technology to work best with the way we operate, and it impacts our health. At TEDMED Live Streaming, you might just learn a few things you didn’t know about humans and our environments!
8. Weird and Wonderful
The weird ideas are the ones that end up reshaping our world, and there are plenty of them at TEDMED. Learn what happens when unconventional combinations mix together to form something wonderful. “It’s about science and health trends that came out of left field, defied expectations or simply seem completely off the wall, in a good way.”
9. I Was Just Thinking Too Small
Take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It’s more than just you as an individual; it’s your entire community. Take a step back with Jump after the final session, and network with other members in the community.
TEDMED is a global community of leading doers and thinkers from every walk of life. Their goal is to seed the innovations of today, making possible the breakthroughs of tomorrow.
TEDMED curates an unusual and provocative program featuring brilliant short talks and stunning artistic performances that reframe our mental models and inspire important new possibilities.
Learn More about TEDMED Live Streaming »