Tiltfactor director Mary Flanagan makes her case, above. Below, right: A Salzburg Fellow tries out a game.
Demonstrating their games for health and human rights, Tiltfactor director Mary Flanagan explained to Fellows how the company's "interdisciplinary innovation team" designs and studies "games for social impact" and how this approach can be a crucial driver of engagement in the path to the realization of the right to health. From "POX: Save the People," a board game and iPad app that challenges players to stop the spread of a deadly disease in their community, to card game "Buffalo," designed to highlight gender stereotypes and bias, Tiltfactor develops games in its lab to change social behaviors.
Well developed games can prompt changes in our own thinking and also help change group dynamics, Flanagan told Fellows, indicating that there is huge potential in the use of gaming to help garner support and engage citizens with public policies, particularly within the sphere of right to health.
Tiltfactor not only designs games, it also conducts thorough research into its game development and impact, sometimes with surprising results. In a revision of its POX game, zombies were added to the mix; Tiltfactor’s research found that players were more likely to understand systems thinking and resource allocation, as well as the importance of strategic vaccination of a population and herd immunity, with the added element of zombies, rather than just considering a more realistic disease outbreak. Tiltfactor is now working on other public health games, including "Source," a game focusing on the spread of cholera, and a game for five-year-olds that encourages hand washing as a means of preventing the spread of easily communicable diseases, called “Wash It!”
"Tiltfactor’s ‘interdisciplinary innovation team’ designs and studies ‘games for social impact’ and how this approach can be a crucial driver of engagement in the path to the realization of the right to health."