Our app is designed to trigger activation of a midbrain dopaminergic response into the ventral striatum, encouraging reinforcement learning of pre-identified positive behaviour (taking steps, reading prescribed articles), while utilising random reward over-estimation via ‘loot crate’ gaming mechanics to further increase dopaminergic release to the mesolimbic pathway.
What does this mean? We have designed our app and games to be fun and engaging for the player, but are built upon understood scientific techniques to optimise enjoyment and motivation to help our users take more steps and get healthier, lowering their risk for chronic disease and fight obesity.
74% of Americans are overweight. 36% are both overweight and obese.
Obesity is estimated to cost $2 trillion a year globally.
Obesity reduces life expectancy by 3 years, and severe obesity reduces life expectancy by 8 - 10 years.
According to the Milken Institute, obesity costs the USA alone $1.4 trillion, currently $64 billion is being spent on diet and weight loss products that are not having a long term impact on the problem.
75% of medical spending is on chronic disease.
Reducing obesity reduces risks for chronic disease: (Harvard Study)
“The primary goal of gamification, applying a game design to a real-life context for non-gaming purposes is in order to provide the user with the motivation to perform a certain activity that may otherwise be overlooked” (Sailer et al 2017)
Good gamification should elicit all 4 main pleasure drivers in the brain:
Serotonin: Gaining achievements (badges) and being proud of them/reliving past positive memories.
Oxytocin: Bonding with a others/a team to complete a challenge.
Endorphins: Overcoming a challenge (and exercise).
“Game design elements can deliberately be used to alter real life contexts such as exercising, and healthy living. The need for conpetence for example can be addressed by allowing the user to play along side their peers, with the use of a leader board, points and badges that are directly achieved by completing certain activities linked to the end goal of the game. The need for autonomy is addressed by creating avatars that allow the user to make their own decisions and offer freedom of choice. Finally, by creating a story that offers a narrative frame allowing the player to have a feeling of belonging can affect social relatedness.” (Sailer 2017)
In particular, video games that incorporate exercise have shown great improvements in user step count. In particular, Pokemon Go was a mass market free to download mobile game that had some impressive statistics:
“We are pleased to share that—as of December 7 (2016, 5 months after release)—the Pokémon GO community has collectively walked more than 8.7 billion kilometres (5 Billion Miles). That’s more than 200,000 trips around Earth! Fun fact: A commercial jetliner would take more than 1,000 years to cover the same distance. While covering this distance, Trainers also caught more than 88 billion Pokémon along the way. That’s roughly 533 million Pokémon a day!”
That walking, has led to over 100 million lbs of weight being lost.
But gamifying walking is not all that is possible for your employees or insured population. We can also gamify the use of meditation/mental health apps, nutrition and smoking cessation programs.
“Did you know that an employee that smokes combustible cigarettes costs businesses an average of $5816 per year?”
Offering a gamified app that gives prizes, rewards, games and fun to users is a much more appealing way to engage your insured populations compared to traditional methods of bulk emails/letters.
-LeBlanc, A.G., Chaput, J.-P., Pokémon Go: A game changer for the physical inactivity crisis?, Prev. Med. (2016), http:// dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2016.11.012