Sea Hero Quest is a mobile game which contributes to research on dementia. It was designed by British game company Glitchers in early 2016 in association with Alzheimer's Research UK, University College London, the University of East Anglia and with funding from Deutsche Telekom.
Sea Hero Quest started out in 2016 as a citizen science project to help scientists understand navigational abilities across the life course. Available for the public to play on mobile and in virtual reality, Sea Hero Quest was the first mass market game that allowed people and any member of the public to take part in scientific research on such a large scale and help with dementia research.
With over 4.5 million participants across mobile and VR, Sea Hero Quest has collected over 14,000 years' worth of data for scientists working towards a cure for dementia. Providing scientists with data that would have taken traditional dementia research 176 centuries to collect. Thus, contributing much more data than could easily be obtained in a laboratory experiment.
The free consumer version was removed from app stores when the original project concluded. However, Sea Hero Quest has proven to be an invaluable tool for answering further questions in dementia research and other fields. The 2021 version of Sea Hero Quest is primarily for scientists to use the app as part of their research into cognition and spatial navigation. People invited by researchers to be part of a study, and those that receive a participation code are currently only able to play the game.
The game is designed to help researchers to understand the mental process of 3D navigation, which is one of the first skills lost in dementia. The plot of the game involves a sea journey taken by a son in a quest to recover the memories his father has lost to dementia. There are three sections: navigation, shooting flares to test orientation, and chasing creatures. Each has been "carefully crafted to be as fun and exciting as it is scientifically valid".
Sea Hero Quest Research Edition follows the incredible success of the original Sea Hero Quest game. Not just a game, but a quest to help scientists fight dementia, Sea Hero Quest has given us new understanding into how we navigate the world. And thanks to the data shared by Sea Hero Quest’s millions of users, we can better develop approaches to detect the navigational problems that people with dementia experience and pave the way to swifter diagnosis.
Visit the Alzheimer's Research UK site for information on the new version of Sea Hero Quest: https://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/research/for-researchers/resources-and-information/sea-hero-quest/
What has Sea Hero Quest achieved? Visit the Sea Hero Quest and Deutsche Telekom site here: www.seaheroquest.com