Sea Hero Quest – mobile game 2016 for VR, developed by Glitchers together with Deutsche Telekom and several European universities. It is designed to detect early or mild symptoms of dementia, which medical tests to detect not. It seems that entertainment is doing a great job.
In Sea Hero Quest , players need to control the boat. First, they are given a map with marked control points, to which you want to reach. Then taking the map, forcing gamers to navigate the game world in memory.
According to a study published recently in the journal PNAS, every two minutes in the game is five hours of laboratory tests. Since Sea Hero Quest was released a few years ago, it has managed to play more than three million people who gathered in total the equivalent of 1,700 years of research data on Alzheimer’s disease.
Participating in the project the researchers studied the process of the game people with the gene APOE4, which is believed to increase the risk of developing dementia. Then they compared the results of these players with the results of those who do not have this gene, but who also played in Sea of Hero Quest.
“We found that people with high genetic risk, APOE4 carriers, worse cope with the tasks of spatial navigation, – said Professor Michael Hornberger (Hornberger Michael) – They choose less efficient routes to reach the checkpoint”.
Using data from thousands of players who played in the Sea Hero Quest, the researchers created a baseline with which to compare the results of their tests. In the future, the team hopes that this data will help to identify people who need treatment and care of dementia before they begin to suffer from symptoms later stages.