Dementia and other side-effects derived from cognitive malfunctioning is a major field for medical investigation in our times. Especially when you take into account the alarming rates behind this kind of illness: over 44 million people around the world suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease as well as other syndromes that are related to memory loss.

We’ve already discussed distributed computation, a series of techniques that allows you to collaborate remotely and indirectly with major scientific research. While Sea Hero Quest appears to be just a humble and entertaining video game on Android, actually it’s transforming your gaming activity into relevant data to help dementia research.

Sea Hero Quest

The app was developed by the studio at Glitchers under the auspicious supervision of Deutsche Telekom and in collaboration with the department of Neuroscience at University College London and the University of East Anglya. It offers players a mini-game where you’ll need to find your way on a little boat that’s navigating via maps where a series of buoys are marked that you’ll need to pass in a certain order. Precisely this aspect of the game, direction, is one of the first symptoms related with the onset of dementia. For this reason, your movements during this game are a perfect sample of how our brains memorize any given road you need to follow. This kind of contrasted information when re-dimensioned to larger sample sizes, allows researchers to analyze our behavior and common triggers that activate mental challenges. Without going much further, its official website claims that five minutes of your gaming is worth approximately two full hours of research time in the lab.

Best of all, unlike other similar games that are much more mundane, like Folding Home, this app could easily pass as being just a fun and simple game that isn’t anything beyond that. The objective is to finish short missions in which you’ll need to find your way on your little boat through a scenario that only shows you the beginning of each round, obligating you to memorize the route you need to take to make it all the way through each control point in the right order. This gameplay is mixed up with other mini-games where you’ll need to dodge obstacles like in endless runners, and another where you have to take pictures of huge sea monsters. It’s the perfect excuse to do something good for the world while making the most of all those hours that you spend playing video games.

More information | Play video games to help cure cancer

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