The year is 2020. A massive contamination of a neurological disease is spreading rapidly and may affect up to 100 million U.S. citizens. Government leaders have convened a panel to try and stop the disease. You have 24 hours to find a cure. Go.
This is only a game, but one that three research organization hope will come up with new ideas for speeding up the rate of medical research.
They're hoping for 600 gamers, including university scientists, business leaders, healthcare innovators, biopharma executives and R&D professionals, government regulators, entrepreneurs, patients and the general public.
Actually, there will be two online games that will go live for 24 hours this Fall. One on Oct. 7-8, the other on Nov. 9-10. Anyone can play.
The games are being offered as "idea sourcing" events. They're being sponsored by the Myelin Repair Foundation, with a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Institute for the Future (IFTF) is designing the game.
Aren't medical breakthroughs coming quickly enough? The sponsors think not. Their concern is that, while there are substantial scientific discoveries these days, life-saving new treatments are not keeping pace.
The game will try to embody a sense of urgency to solve a medical crisis, and see what innovations people come up with. Says IFTF game designer Jane McGonigal:
“Those who play games have a sense of urgency and abandon when they are engaged in a game scenario. We have seen these behaviors in corporate strategic game play where there are real stakes. The game we are building for the MRF is designed to generate that sort of urgency and unleash creative ideas for finding ways to speed medical research.”
You can see the game scenario at http://info.breakthroughstocures.org/
There's a press release here.
Registration begins Sept. 3 if you want to play.
Good luck, and live long and prosper.