As you might have noticed, this website is about Serious Games. What could be more serious than being able to save a life? However, statistics show that more than 70% of the population has not received first aid training. A perfect example of the generalized first-aid ignorance is the recurrent question: “Quick! Is there a doctor in here?!” that we have encountered many times in movies –or perhaps even in real life- in the event of a medical emergency.
Outside of a movie, the chances suggest that there is probably not a doctor anywhere near, especially as most medical emergencies (around 90%) happen at home. The question is: if one of your loved ones suffers a medical emergency, would you be able to help? Or would you instead panic and hate yourself for not being able to do more while the ambulance arrives? As we have seen, most of us would probably face the second scenario as we lack first aid training. The good news is that Serious Games can help us reduce these scary numbers.
Serious Games are timidly but increasingly used for diverse purposes within healthcare; mainly professional medical training and personal health management –both oriented to prevention as well as to the treatment and rehabilitation of patients of diverse conditions. Yet very, very few quality games are developed for the big public and oriented to providing first aid knowledge. Just google “first aid game” to have an idea about what is out there. But, can you imagine the positive impact that shooter games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield or ARMA could have if they integrated the gamers into medical emergency situations in their very realistic scenarios?
Unfortunately there is a lack of awareness about the possibilities that video games offer in terms of accessing non-professional medical training, even when the public is positively predisposed to learning these skills. But there might be hope. Some schools have already started experimenting with teaching first aid through video games and collecting good results – so hopefully this trend will consolidate and bring well prepared future generations who are not forced to rely on luck to help their loved ones in case of emergency.