Adventure Squad is an augmented reality game designed specifically for children and families hospitalized at UNC Children’s Hospital.
Hospitalizations are challenging and draining, both physically and emotionally. Adventure Squad is an augmented reality (AR) game designed specifically for hospitalized children and families. Using a smartphone or tablet, patients and families play a proximity‐based game that encourages children to get up and be active during their (sometimes lengthy and isolated) hospitalizations.
Creative storytelling guides children and adolescents in a choose‐your‐own‐adventure style narrative, as each player creates a superhero with mix‐and‐ match superpowers and special items. Powers and items are discovered by following clues and searching around the hospital wards for AR targets to scan. Those AR targets are famous quotes to inspire, encourage, and educate families during what can be a difficult time of life. Once each secret superpower is found, the magic of AR brings the new power and character to life right on the device!
The process repeats as patients strive to complete their full Adventure Squad and proudly share their results.
With Adventure Squad, our goal is to get kids out of bed, help them participate more in physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other rehabilitation efforts, while simultaneously making hospitalization less stressful. Our team is dedicated to using our varied skills in journalism, business, computer science, and medicine to better the lives of hospitalized children and families.
We chose superheroes intentionally to counter the narrative and the labeling that can come with medical illness. Our hope is that by creating a superhero and giving our patients choice over that character’s path, they can realize that they are in charge of their bodies, their lives and their story.
- Real-world gameplay that maximizes physical use of a confined space (hospital floor) by creating a scavenger hunt type game.
- Creative patient engagement.
- Vuphoria scanning of AR targets.
- Location-based identification of individual children's hospitals.
- Random name generation to protect patient privacy.
- Story designed for heavy replayability.
- Text-to-Voice for visually impaired or younger children.
- Portability of the game, so bed-bound children can still play and interact with staff.
- Data confined to the user's device to protect patient privacy.