Caring for loved ones isn’t the first place you’d think game mechanics could be applied but in this Facebook advergame, who cares for carers?, from SiftGroups (a UK design agency) and The Princess Royal Trust for Carers, we see gamification being used.
The game takes you through a kind of knockout round of friends as you imagine who you would ask to do increasingly caring things for you. The tournament game mechanic really helps get the message across.
I really liked it and I reached out to Nick Torday, Account Director at SiftGroups, who explained more:
The purpose of the app is to highlight the difficulties people face when they are suddenly called upon to become carers for relatives or friends.
What we were trying to achieve is, by subverting the social mores of Facebook, we’re shining a light on an issue that is largely hidden from the core Facebook demographic, raising vital awareness amongst an audience group who themselves may well have to deal with the issues of caring for family or loved ones at some point in their lives.
That is to say we’re using a social space to highlight isolation.
We chose a game mechanic as an innovative way of delivering a complex social message that is too nuanced for people to easily engage with. The game process outlines a clear and compelling narrative.
Our anecdotal feedback thus far has suggested that people are really moved by the fact that a) they tend to choose people closest to them such as parents or siblings which reflects the reality and b) the impact on social life comes across as really convincing.
Is this what happens in reality? Yes – the questions are a bit simplified, but the app was created in collaboration with carers to ensure the messaging and concept was neither patronising nor innacurate. We also include positive messaging about the carers support services available.