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WSJ: What is the game like?
Christen: It’s a third-person shooter. The kids navigate this nano-bot called Roxxi through the fictitious bodies of young cancer patients. She has an arsenal available to her, which are the kinds of things that would be available in real life to fight cancer, such as radiation, chemotherapy and antibiotics. And there are particular challenges that are quite similar to the challenges they face in managing their own cancer.
WSJ: What do the kids say about the game?
Christen: They loved it. They saw themselves in the game play experience, and what we found in the research is it really gave them a sense of power and control over their disease.
The kids who played the game in the trial were better able to adhere to their oral chemotherapy and to their oral antibiotics than those who did not get the game in the trial. There’s also the psychological element called self efficacy, and that means you feel like you are up to the challenges of fighting cancer. We also saw cancer knowledge go up more steeply in the kids who played the game than those who didn’t.