Become a Hero!
Dealing with the pandemic required new approaches and thinking. Countries worldwide had devised creative campaigns to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and incentivize vaccination. During lockdown, many people tried to stay physically active using digital platforms, while people with chronic diseases heavily relied on self-monitoring and telemedicine.
Such an unprecedented crisis forced the adoption – often through experimentation – of new measures. Among these measures were gamification and AI.
Three scientists from the Aedimark R&D Group from the University of Extremadura in Spain – Prof. Dr. Luis R. Murillo-Zamorano, Prof. Dr. José Ángel López-Sánchez, and Dr. Carmen Bueno Muñoz – studied whether these measures, never before used on such a scale were useful in curbing the spread of the virus.
They draw upon academic research, and analyze selected initiatives to show the spectrum of possibilities that AI and gamification can provide.
The authors found that gamification had been applied in many ways by national and regional authorities, consciously and unconsciously, to encourage the population’s participation in collaborative activities focused on the fight against COVID-19. The technique, which is rooted in behavioral psychology, is typically used to promote healthy habits, facilitate chronic patients’ use of telemedicine applications and adherence, and prevent health risks.
Archetypes are one of the gamification design patterns practiced during pandemics. According to the authors, two main archetypes of games – heroes and villains – have been applied in the context of the pandemic. “The heroes are represented, among others, by the health professionals who fight against the coronavirus, and the villains could be those who deny the existence of the virus.”