Hoping to harness the power of mobile games to accomplish their task, one of the world’s leading scientific pharma and healthcare companies, GSK, were made aware of Antidote when it claimed the “Applied game of the year” award by the Finnish game industry. Soon after, it gained accreditation from the World Health Organization and the vaccine board of the parliament of Finland.
Psyon Games’ title works like this: players are placed inside the body on a microscopic level, tasked with using its inner defences to fend off harmful disease. While intended to be fun and thrilling, Antidote also raises questions and merges real cellular interactions with in-game mechanics. Hence why it caught GSK’s attention, and will now be a part of disease awareness content on their Finnish vaccine website rokote.fi.
It’s all part of GSK and Psyon Games ultimate goal of successfully spreading vaccine awareness as far as possible on a global level. This is because, as well as nutrition and clean water, vaccines are one of the most important health factors. Thanks to vaccines morbidity has decreased, many dangerous contagions are now no more, and healthcare resources can better address the prevention other diseases.
“We are worried about the belittlement of science in society,” says Olli Rundgren, the CEO of Psyon Games. “Ignorance towards scientific research is becoming more common among decision-makers of high status. One might argue, that nonsense has been normalized and as a result even some of the craziest ideas have received unprecedented support.” Through Antidote, Psyon and GSK are looking to change that.
Despite it still being early days, the collaboration between Psyon Games and GSK has already inspired Finnish investment from game industry veteran Peter Vesterbacka, who sees potential in Antidote and what it could likely achieve. “This was a no-brainer,” he says. “Psyon Games combines science and games in a brave and creative way to create new business models. Spreading vaccine awareness is such a great challenge that it requires this type of ambition from the makers.”
Both GSK and Psyon Games have made clear that the big push behind Antidote is merely the first phase of their partnership, with the hopes that this pilot project will lead to more edutainment games in the near future. How well the game manages to raise vaccine awareness will determine and inspire this new direction.