Young people are the most difficult demographic to convince to buy healthcare insurance. Twenty-somethings frequently see little need to buy insurance and many of them have trouble affording it anyway. These factors likely played into the decision by the state of Utah to use gamification to try to convince some younger people to purchase health insurance.
Educating Through A Game
The state of Utah is interested in teaching young people about the enormous cost of healthcare and how even a mild injury or accident can be quite costly. They do this through a mobile game app. Mobihealthnews.com explains the game,
The app, called "Arches Saves Your Bacon" aims to give users an idea of how different behaviors affect their health risks and how much they can cost them.
There are various stages throughout the game. One may spin a wheel in the game to land on a variety of possible incidents that may occur to them and see how much the cost would be if they had insurance versus if they did not. The results are what is often most intriguing to players as they are shocked to learn the potential financial tole even everyday injuries could inflict.
Why The Game Is Available Now
The people behind this game wanted to release it right around the open enrollment period in Utah. They did so because they believed that young people would have a short attention span for something like this, and it was best to get their attention when it was most essential. The effectiveness of the game is yet to be known as the open enrollment period marches on. However, the development team is very excited to see what they believe will be improved results.
What This Says About Gamification
One of the primary takeaways from this example is that gamification works and is trusted. Issues that seem to be permanent and unchangeable (such as lack of interest in healthcare by young people) are starting to seem solvable. Perhaps all along the problem had more to do with the methods by which individuals were attempting to solve it. Gamification is breaking down some of those traditional barriers and try to encourage a whole new generation to re-examine the problems before them.