2016, Nov 12: Breathing Games Game Jam (respiratory health)

Lai-Tze Fan edited this page Nov 13, 2016 · 14 revisions

November 12 -- 13: Breathing Games Game Jam (Concordia University)


Note to self: see Google Drive for Breathing Games project documents
* especially file in "BG-3 Events" folder

Introductory Discussion

  • a lot of people affected by respiratory diseases

  • health games as fun learning show promising results in changing behaviours and influencing health

  • meant to be be shared and widely accessible

    • using different licenses; contributors must share
  • first games were in cystic fibrosis

    • ex. 1: could do peak flow assessment
  • "PEAK FLOW": exercise to breathe out as fast as possible in order to access lung function capacity

    • measure of airway obstruction
    • second part of game about catching asthma triggers
    • ex. 2: another game: Tamagochi style--taking care of an animated lung
  • earlier games on health Switzerland required too many resources, so they switched to asthma focus

    • 2015: early prestudy focused on gamification
    • 2016: participatory action research
    • 2017 (projected): focus groups
  • poster presented at Respiratory Health conference in Montréal (November 2016)

    • short-term goal to develop mobile app in childhood asthma: knowledge transfer and self-assessment of symptoms and lung function
    • also aiming to develop a bluetooth peak flow meter
    • eventually test in randomized control research

Visual Explanation of Goals

  • first objective: create a visual representation of the game
  • children must be able to have knowledge of asthma
  • it must be helpful for clinicians and researchers
- Tamagochi idea: child identifies themselves with a "pet lung" * improve medication adherence; keeping the lung healthy gives an incentive for children to maintain medication use * crisis mode of lung, a blue pump is rescue medication (a puffer) * indicator of how often medication is taken * can be a feedback tool for doctors
  • peak flow focus is to offer personalization for the children
  • they would like to increase emphasis on the family and family participation
    • parents' participation can help for data entry
    • it is likely that the parents will be the ones entering the data
    • Q: could it be possible to send notifications to parents/children? Stars, Likes, and feedback for parents, especially an alert if things are not going well

Discussion Period of Goals

  • age group: 6 to 11-year-olds

  • peak flow test: by itself is not a game

  • discussion of different ways to get child to engage with peak flow

    • should be measured once a day--ideally at the same time every day (discussion of habit developing)
    • maybe to unlock the game, they have to do their peak flow first
  • want to be able to detect if they have a drop in the peak flow base line (via calibration tests)

  • could peak flow be used to unlock other games?

  • idea of colour-coded system: Red, Green, Yellow, etc.

    • "Red Zone" signals that there is an issue
  • maybe: online community for people to engage with each other (discussion boards, etc.)

    • with suggestions of what to do when in the "Red Zone"
    • note: do consider background resources: server and community management/upkeep

Stylistic Themes

  • stylistic theme that is consistent among the games?
  • is there something neutral that could appeal to different ages?
    • geometric games, glass outlines (whatever) that grow in complexity as you breathe, as peak flow is more efficient
    • but pick a stylistic theme that relates to the kid's everyday surroundings?
  • but the educational value still has to be there: is should still be a trigger
  • the visuals has to go with the nature of the peak blow, which cannot be sustained; it's one big blow

-> settings
-> peak flow -- data tool
-> Lung Launcher -- educational tool about asthma triggers
-> feedback

  • will break up into two working groups:

    • A: peak flow
    • B: Lung Launcher
    • C: funding of research
  • additional info about research and data: see Google Drive document "BG-3-8b GameJam Montreal research"

I've joined group A, working on Peak Flow

Peak Flow Group


  • get data for setting (Maria, Breathing App)
  • improve the interface
  • interaction data--PEF
  • visuals/story/game play
  • create feedback form


  • we'll use Unity for multi-platform app design

  • mobile-specific app

  • should we look into research for what, say, six-year-olds find interesting

    • will lose attention very quickly for certain age groups
    • so will want to validate through focus groups
  • about the length of a commercial: 30 seconds

    • any stimulation could be useful
  • triggers could change with season

    • asthma is more triggered by allergies, colds, etc.
    • depends on the child's type of asthma
  • perhaps the interface can be themed based on lung engagement: dancing, swimming, hiking, whatever

  • peak flow requires three blows for best accuracy

  • they may have to do the peak flow test in order to unlock a new location/level

  • landing page with information ("How to play the game") with instructive video on how to properly do peak flow test

  • Help Section? With contact information, How To, and Peak Flow video that can be accesssed as needed

  • interaction?: breathing and haptics (touch)

  • concern that the child will have no incentive to keep playing

  • we should start with what information we would like to extract for the doctors/researchers/clinicians

    • final goal: feedback is shown to physician and to child/family
- idea: line graph with colour-coded background that is child- and adult-literate * convert data (data visualization) into line graphs * instead of numbers, percentages would be better so that it's personalized for children * blowing 500 or 600 could both be 100%, because this will change depending on child's personal factors--base line, age, etc. - Sameer suggests: two-layered data feedback, one specifically for the kids that is more simple, like changing colours or more or less hearts * as instant and easily accessible feedback

Group B's Presentation: Lung Launcher

- new accounts will be opened with either a doctor or an adult - will start with peak flow, on a launching pad * peak flow can launch the avatar to start the game - will arrive at a new place on a map--a lunch - there will be a description between the lung and the avatar - after every stage, there will be a pop-up with an update and an action plan (now you need to do x, y, z)
  • instead of a series of questions, just a quick little "how is your asthma today"
    • just simple questions that are quickly answered
    • maybe finish with a badge

Interface and Interaction Design

- our early plans for the game


  • Assistant Avatar introduces how to play the game, including the "Villains," the Triggers (viruses, irritants, and allergens)

  • Assistant Avatar launches the player into the Lung Map

  • game starts: explore the space while encountering Triggers

    • must slash Triggers in the style of Fruit Ninja
    • for every Trigger missed, will lose one of their hearts (3 - 5)
    • prompting the Assistant Avatar to offer a "Did You Know?" educational fact about asthma
  • should update the "Did You Know?" notes by the season through app updates

  • Lung Map colour according to score and Action Plan

  • Call to Action

  • release the game in two ways:

    • Stage 1: during the Winter holidays for a public release without a preform to fill in
    • Stage 2: for St. Justine Hospital release, will offer a preform filled in by doctors and/or parents

Thanks for a fun day, team!


Early Notes

  • need incentive for kids to do the peak flow test
  • idea: use the three peak flow measures to fill up an Energy Bar that can be used later in the Lung Launcher game as a tool
    • similar to having the Star in Mario: maybe makes player invincible for 10-15 seconds, or gives them extra hearts or something
  • design plan: potentially personalize the Triggers so that the child specifically choose to avoid their specific triggers

Discussion of Next Events

  • mid-December update meetup
  • mid-January game jam

Discussion of Funding Opportunities

  • discussion of developing a SSHRC Connection Grant and a CIHR Research Grant

  • discussion of research students that could be hired to work on the project

    • can be allocated grant budgets
    • they can also finish their term with a review of their work
  • Concordia Sustainable Action Fund proposal

    • finished first version of the document

Concluding Statements

  • drawing from my experience with academic grant writing, I will spend the rest of the afternoon editing the Concordia Sustainable Action Fund proposal
  • I have also agreed to start and develop a SSHRC Connections Grant proposal for the next series of game jams for the Breathing Games common
    • I will be listed as a co-applicant for this proposal
  • my specific focus for these proposals is on foregrounding the relationship of the project's open-source intiative in relation to efforts of sustainability, especially as they pertain to Concordia University's larger community and short-term goals for sustainable action
Clone this wiki locally
You can’t perform that action at this time.
You signed in with another tab or window. Reload to refresh your session. You signed out in another tab or window. Reload to refresh your session.
Press h to open a hovercard with more details.