Leave it to Manny Hernandez, founder of tudiabetes and estudiabetes, to come up with a Facebook game to help people with diabetes improve their eating and fitness habits. And the gem is, while you’re learning and doing, your ‘friends’ are helping you through it!
The game is called HealthSeeker™ and was launched June 14th with Joslin Diabetes Center collaborating on content and the sponsorship of Boehringer Ingelheim. Already, there are more than one thousand players.
How it works is you enlist your Facebook ‘friends’ to be your support circle and ravers as you take action steps that help you meet your healthy lifestyle goals. You’ll track your progress and you can share your game results via Facebook status updates and send them out to your Twitter followers.
As Manny, who has been living with diabetes since 2002 says, “I cannot overstate what a source of support, information and inspiration social networking tools like this can be for someone living with a chronic condition like diabetes.”
HealthSeeker™ provides simple action step suggestions and rewards your success through achievement badges and experience points you earn, kudos your friends can send you and comments they can leave on your Fridge door. (Your game Fridge door, that is!)
While your computer is home base, getting away from your computer is where the action happens – in the supermarket, in your kitchen, on the basketball court, in the pool. Then you come back and share your results.
The game is set up so that you choose “Missions” (healthy actions) as in the lingo of the old TV show, Mission Impossible – “Your mission if you choose to accept it….”
These missions are the stepladder to achieving your goals. As you complete your mission, you move up in the game and get access to more and more detailed action steps where you will need to sharpen your healthy living-chops. For example, if a mission on Level 1 suggests you eat a certain kind of food once a week, later on you will have to do it twice or three times per week – and that’s the beginning of building new habits.
Manny has made going after health fun to give us all a helping hand to improve our diabetes management, and our life. Further, the fun of playing the game with hundreds of others, scoring yourself, seeing yourself gain more points and sharing your results, may be just the motivation you need to now get in the game.
So get online and then get out on the field! There’s nothing holding you back now but you.
Way to go Manny!
Vancouver-based social game development group, Ayogo Games, Inc. developed the game code.