“Re-Mission” looks like your typical first-person shooter game with standard 3-D graphics and whizzing sound effects. But when you look closer you realize avatar Roxxi isn’t just blowing up any bad guy. She’s blasting cancer cells.
A collaboration between the nonprofit HopeLab and UCLA professor of medicine Steven Cole, “Re-Mission” was designed to fight one of the leading causes of lapses on chemotherapy: missed doses. 30 percent of child Leukemia patients miss 20 percent or more of their doses. This doubles the chances of cancer returning. The game play mimicked this by reducing Roxxi’s shooting power every time the player misses taking a dose in the game.
In the case of “Re-Mission,” video games empower patients to take more doses by making them feel more confident that they have the willpower to do so. By seeing themselves fight cancer on the screen, patients feel more confident that they can do so with medicine Self-efficacy allows you to be the hero of your own quest, whether that is battling cancer or something else.