Gamers are now able to contribute to dementia research thanks to Deutsche Telekom’s Sea Hero Quest
Deutsche Telekom’s belief is that “Life is for sharing.” To us, memories and the people we share them with are what really matter in life.
Dementia is the single biggest threat to this belief, currently affecting 47.5 million people worldwide. However, there is no understanding of where dementia comes from, how to stop it, or even how to detect its earliest signs.
We had two key audiences: Emotional Philanthropists are in search of ways to get involved in the issues they care about, while Casual Gamers are looking for entertainment, something they can play for two minutes while waiting for the train.
Our strategy was to create the first mobile game that would challenge and record the navigational skills of players, and in doing so, create a human benchmark for spatial navigation, against which dementia could be measured in the future.
If 100, 000 people played Sea Hero Quest for just two minutes, the data collected could generate the equivalent of more than 50 years of similar, lab-based research.
Deutsche Telekom pulled together researchers and gaming experts, creating a game big enough to make a dent in dementia research.
We would capture the same quality of navigational data achieved in a clinical trial, hidden within an addictive mobile game, thereby creating the world’s largest open-source benchmark for human navigation. It was launched globally in 16 languages.
The largest previous study into dementia involved 599 participants. Sea Hero Quest has already encouraged more than 1.4m people to participate – while also strengthening the understanding of Deutsche Telekom’s key brand message that “life is for sharing.”
In less than five days following global launch, the game was downloaded more than 500,000 times, and picked up by more than 400 media outlets worldwide.
We were Top 20 in App Store and Google Play across 40 markets, and #1 free game in the majority of them.
Thousands of people left reviews all sharing a common sentiment: they loved gaming with a new purpose.