Community Clash: Gaming for Community Health

By June 14, 2010

Community Clash is an online card game designed to teach people about their communities. It’s a poker-like game that pulls community health data from various organizations. The game pits two cities against each other, and the

goal is to bet on which city is more healthy. Categories are broken down into things like percentage of people who exercise regularly, who are depressed, homicides and motor-vehicle deaths, unemployment rates or the number of uninsured residents.

Community Clash was created by MeYou Health and its parent company, Healthways, along with Innovations Studios and Tom Zeng. The game was created in response to a White House led challenge, the Community Health Data Initiative (CHDI).

“We hope to create an ecosystem of learning around these community-health metrics,” says Trapper Markelz, Head of Product at MeYou Health.

It will be interesting to see if the decision to turn community data into a game will help educate people who wouldn’t normally be interested in looking at a wall of data. Game mechanics are all the rage, but we’re still waiting for the metrics that will tell us how effective serious games are.

But even if you only play Community Clash once just to test it, you come away from it having learned.

“If we can get people to walk away knowing what the obesity rate of their city is and knowing what the drug-use rate of their city is, or the unemployment rate of their city, we consider that the win,” Markelz says.

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