We have been working on a serious game called “Laka” in the past months, and we are proud to say that this game has been nominated for the Future of Health Award.

The Future of Health Award’ is a competition by The Games for Health Europe Conference that aims on further development of ideas around game in healthcare. At the last edition of the conference every attendee had the opportunity to pitch their idea in a 5 minute video pitch. Our client’s pitch has been reviewed by a jury and they selected Laka as one of the 5 nominees for the Future of Health Award! The winning idea will be chosen mid-2013. These are the other nominees:

We’d like to congratulate our fellow nominees and our client Ciran for the nominations. A jury report and abstracts of the five ideas will follow soon. You can follow it on Twitter and Facebook, and we will keep you up to date as well.

Laka What?

It has been behind the scenes up until now, so we have been quiet about it. About a year ago, the Dutch rehabilitation company Ciran contacted Paladin for a game project they wanted to start. They had the ambitious plan to create a game that could support with the rehabilitation process of their patients – mostly people with symptoms of chronic pain and chronic fatigue.

While not religious in nature, Laka is based on buddhist philosophy. The game teaches players about handling yourself and handling life – in particular, it aims to improve and test your skill in generosity, moral discipline, patience, energy, focus and wisdom. These are the six “paramitas” (virtues) of Mahayana buddhism.

In the game Laka, you step into the shoes of your avatar and travel the world. You meet different types of people and encounter various situations. In every situation you make choices: How do you react to the boy spilling water on you? What will you do when someone leaves his bag in the train? How do you respond to the man who’s blocking your view at a concert? What do you say to the homeless person asking you for some money? These situations vary from everyday situations (like standing in line) to uncommon ones (like being scammed in a tea house). How you respond is up to you.

Laka Gameplay

How does this help the patients?

The sources of chronic pain and fatigue are usually found in the environment of the patient. An angry boss, a stressful situation at home – when it’s too much to handle, your body suffers as a result.

The rehabilitation process focuses on coping with the stress factors – often including symptom itself. To tackle this, Ciran has developed a treatment that not ony includes the traditional medicine (doctors, physiotherapists, and psychologists) but adds several other components: Sports, a life coach, and mindfulness exercises.

We fully believe in and support Ciran’s cause and believe that by playing this game, patients will gain insight into the choices they make every day.

The game can be played on iPad, and will be embedded in Ciran’s rehabilitation program. The game will become available to 4000+ patients each year. In order to determine the effectiveness of Laka, a scientific validation study will be carried out by the University of Tilburg.

Laka