New interactive game launched to help people in Buckie live ‘healthier, happier and longer’
A team of developers at Hyper Luminal have come up with an innovative idea to encourage thousands of Scots to live “healthier, happier and longer”.
The Dundee-based studio, which normally creates games for Xbox, PlayStation and iPhone, has developed the MyLife app as part of the Blackwood Peoplehood Project.
The app features an on-screen avatar character to keep residents informed of local events and motivate them to take part in community activities, with suggestions suited to their needs, interests and abilities.
Each avatar will also take into account the medical, health and mobility circumstances of individual users, who can earn real-life awards – such as free gardening work or use of an electric car or e-bike.
Fanchea Kelly, chief executive of Blackwood, said: “MyLife will get to know a resident’s daily schedule and can suggest tasks or activities which encourage mobility. It could be as simple as washing some dishes, going for a walk or speaking to a neighbour, all of which earn rewards which can be used to customise their avatar.
“Blackwood credits can also be earned from community engagement or interaction, for example doing a neighbour’s shopping or taking part in a dance class.
“The avatar will be a friendly personal assistant but it is also designed to be a gateway to making new friends and a portal to allow residents to connect with other individuals.”
“Interesting and valuable addition to daily life”
Buckie is one of the three Scottish neighbourhoods to take part in the three-year scheme, alongside Charleston in Dundee and Cardonald in Glasgow.
Participants will benefit from free tablets and Wi-Fi to get digitally connected, while e-bikes, electric cars and a host of equipment will be delivered according to demand.
Stuart Martin, chief executive of Hyper Luminal Games, said the app was developed in a careful process involving local people who will use it to make the most of the scheme.
He added: “Blackwood residents are our beta testers because only by finding out what is important to them – identifying services and functionalities which should be prioritised and seeing them interact with the app – can we be sure that MyLife will improve their lives.
“The common response was ‘we don’t play games’ but just because you don’t pick up a game pad or use a PlayStation doesn’t mean you are not a gamer.
“Once we probed further, we found many played Candy Crush or Sudoku on phones or did crosswords on a tablet, and they accepted that MyLife could be an interesting and valuable addition to daily life.”
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