Sea Hero Quest
Help scientists fight dementia just by playing.
In Sea Hero Quest, players navigate the high seas, swaps and rivers of lava while navigating buoys, setting flares and spotting aquatic monsters. The route that players take as they navigate the environment will be analyzed by scientists aiming to set a benchmark for “normal” navigation skills, against which they can examine those of patients showing signs of early dementia. By crowd-sourcing the research, scientists are accelerating the process of gathering navigation data and it is estimated that just two minutes of play time translates into an equivalent five hours of lab-based research. After being collected and compiled, the resulting database will be accessible and open to anyone studying dementia.
Sea Hero Quest explores the story of a father and son who have spent years exploring the seas and sketching memories into a journal. When the aging father accidentally drops the sketchbook into the sea, the son sets out to rebuild the journal and help his father remember the vibrant years they shared. Players are tasked with memorizing a map and then navigating from buoy to buoy in numerical order along a predetermined path. The son’s quest to save his ailing father’s memory resonates deeply with players whose actions (just by playing) will contribute to research that ultimately aims to preserve the memories of others.
The game was funded by Deutsche Telekom and brought to life by game developer Glitchers in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, University College London and University of East Anglia. To date, the game has been downloaded over 2 million times and players have generated more than 6,000 years of dementia research data just by playing.