HRSFANS.org

misce stultitiam consiliis brevem

HRSFAN achievement: Rush or Relax?

Jessica Hammer ’99 and her research team recently won a grant to design iPhone games that will help people stop smoking.  The grant speaks for itself:

The game is intended to be an alternative to smoking with the goal of reducing or eliminating tobacco use in players’ lives. The game involves breathing into a microphone to control gameplay, and is coupled with sound, color, images, challenges and feedback to mimic the stimulant and relaxant effects of smoking. The design elements within the game result in two modes of play (“Rush” and “Relax”). These will be tested for their stimulant and relaxation effects through emotional response and physiological (EEG, heart rate, galvanic skin response) measures, and compared to subjects after smoking or who play the game in lieu of smoking. If successful, the game will emulate the effects of smoking as a replacement therapy for smokers who want to quit. It will do so by allowing smokers who crave the physiological effects of smoking to reach for this five-minute game rather than for a cigarette.

I think it’s a great idea.  Although I also thought about this, and it creeped me out.  (Spoiler alert for that link, if you read beyond the first page or so.)

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Carrotmob

Carrotmob is exactly the sort of thing I think the flash mob community should grow into.  It creates a strange scene, but does so in a way that directs resources for positive change.  In this case, getting a flash mob of people to show up and buy something from the store committing the most money to becoming greener.  I really like the idea of harnessing consumer power (via organized collective action) to encourage companies to do things we want them to do, and I like the company (Virgance; obsf: yes, it’s named after the word Lucas coined in The Phantom Menace) which has since been set up to create more carrotmobs or similar activities.  I am really excited to see where this goes.

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