Videogame teaches kids to recognise stroke symptoms and save lives

Who says games are a waste of time? Not us, and now not a bunch of researchers in the US, either. The science website has reported that a short game on the causes and symptoms of strokes called Stroke Hero has been developed by researchers at Columbia university that has kids shooting blood clots with drugs and answering questions about strokes in order to re-load. The findings of the study were published in the medical journal Stroke.

After playing, those kids proved better-informed on the subject, and 33% more likely to recognise the symptoms of a stroke in others and to call emergency services for help. Kids who played the game more than once were 18% more likely than kids who only played once to recognise a lack of balance as a symptom of someone who is having or has had a stroke.

The sample group was made up of 210 kids between the ages of nine and ten drawn from a community where the likelihood of strokes was quite high (The Bronx, New York).

Dr. Olajide Williams, an associate professor of neurology at Columbia University and a researcher on the study, added that “the study results should be interpreted with caution [as] the study was small, and the researchers did not include a control group”.


Despite Dr. Williams’ caveat, this is a very good argument for the gamification of teaching methods – i.e. turning learning into a game through the aid of videogame-like lessons – having a noticeable impact on the effectiveness of the subject matter being taught.


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