The Magi and The Sleeping Star, the heroic Oz must free his relatives from gigantic dinosaur robots, but if he doesn't correctly manage his type-1 diabetes, his magic will fail him.
The Magi and The Sleeping Star is the creation of Oklahoma-based Game Equals Life, formed by video game enthusiast and diabetic Adam Grantham. Adam wants to deliver a video game experience that teaches children and young adults to manage their disease, without feeling like they are being force-fed an edutainment title, and he might just succeed.
The Magi and The Sleeping Star looks like your average third-person shooter, with giant boss monster fights, blazing weapons, and a robotic companion named Momo who guides you along your path. The difference lies in the diabetes management portion of the game, which is directly linked to your magic attacks and special moves. By correctly balancing healing food items with insulin, the player can maintain ideal blood sugar levels, making his magic more powerful and his special moves more...special. Fail to properly maintain those levels and your magic and special moves will fail you.
The game, which is still in early stages, also allows players to enter in their own blood sugar information, making for a personalised experience with relevance to each individual person's situation.
Grantham spoke to NewsOK about the feeling of empowerment he hopes the game will convey.
"It's like I can totally kill thousands of monsters just by staying on top of my diabetes. It's a tool for empowerment rather than bringing them down, and we're using game play as a language to teach complex ideas. A kid thinking that way can apply it to real life at school or soccer or anything else."
You can visit the game's official website to see how much work Adam has accomplished with a four-person team. He's currently negotiating with various nonprofit organizations and pharmaceutical companies in order to further develop the concept.
Perhaps one day The Magi and The Sleeping Star will be distributed by children's hospitals as a tool to help kids learn about dealing with the disease. As it stands, it's a heart-warming example of how video games can be used in a positive manner to enrich the lives of those who've been dealt a less-than-optimal hand.