The Blood Typing Game was produced by Nobel Media with the aim of communicating Nobel achievements to younger audiences. The game was the 2012 winner of the Best Game at the Swedish Learning Awards and was designed for teenagers aged 14-17. The company also develops other broadcast, digital media, events and published content.
Based upon research that won the 1930 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine awarded to Karl Landsteiner. Landsteiner was an Austrian scientist who worked tirelessly throughout his life on immunology of syphilis and poliomyelitis, pathological anatomy and histology His career ended with a heart attack in his laboratory at the age of 75 (Nobel prize.org Karl Landsteiner – Biographical).
In the game you assist doctors in determining a patients blood type, and them administering them with the correct blood type.
Visuals: The visuals contain images of using needles, and lots of blood droplets, so the game might be a bit hard to handle if blood and needles aren’t your thing (READ: this game is not for people like my sister). Everything is easy to read and the symbols are repeated and easy to understand.
Music: The game has no music. Sound effects occur when you click on things and include blood pumping, blood splattering and dings for completing a mission. I found the loud “YES!” that the patients make after they receive the correct blood transfusion (and the opposite in case of a mistake) a little odd.
Gameplay: The game has two stages:
- Determining the blood type. In this stage you drop some of the patients blood into three test tubes containing reagents of the A, B and RH antibodies. If the mixture aggulates (or clumps), then it has reacted with something present in the patients blood. You then have to correctly choose which blood type the patient has.
- Performing the blood transfusion, which involves choosing an appropriate blood sample to give the patient from a line up of different combinations. This stage is a little harder than the first, but there are plenty of good options so it is still very easy.
Once you understand how the test works and have done a few blood samples, the game becomes pretty repetitive, but with only 6 levels, you can get to the end quickly if you make few mistakes.
Impact: The Blood Typing game is a quite nice simple game that conveys its message in a quick and easy to understand way. It isn’t a game that you could spend a long time playing, but would be a good addition to teaching about the human body for upper primary or lower secondary students. It would also be good for children who see their parents going to donate blood and wonder why they do it.
A reasonable amount of information is provided throughout the game, especially in the tutorials. Most of the information is in short paragraphs of interesting facts which make them very easy to understand and get through.
There is a disclaimer in the second tutorial of the game which talks about people with RH- blood being able to develop RH+ blood if given transfusions of that before, and that they have not included it in the game. This is a nice insight into some of the shortcuts game producers make during production to make a complicated topic playable. I think this could have been included in the game, maybe by adding extra levels with this added information. Indeed the information says that there are many more blood group systems (other than the A,B,O, Rh one), but that these systems are not used in conventional medicine. These other systems could also be used for greater complexity and more playing time, but that might take the game away from the simple effective one that it currently is. A more complex spinoff for teenagers and adults could be a good way of including this, and is something that I would very much be interested in playing.
Contribution to science: 0/5
If this game has got you enthused about blood types, and the importance of blood donations, you can follow these links to find out where to donate.
New Zealand http://www.nzblood.co.nz/
The European Union http://ec.europa.eu/health/blood_tissues_organs/blood/become_blood_donor_en