Honey, don't tell the kids: by playing Cascade, the new Android Ouya / Oculus Rift game that puts players in control of a laser-firing spaceship and asks them to defend alien orbs from an onslaught of mysterious green tendrils, they just might be learning something.
Taking a cue from the library of failed "education-style games" disdained for their lack of, well, fun, the brilliant minds behind the Wellcome Trust, and University of Essex biochemist Dr. Jody Mason have teamed up with Fayju game designer Gaz Bushell to create an actually-exciting videogame that looks like it could generate youth awareness around a real issue: Alzheimer's Disease.
In Cascade, players take control over a green spaceship tasked with defending large, white brain cells known as neurons from the amyloid plaques hypothesized to be the primary cause of the disease. Combined with an Oculus Rift, the result is an immersive gaming experience wherein the answer to Alzheimer's awareness lies in the statistics: today, one in 20 people over the age of 65 suffer from Alzheimer's. In the UK, however, "more than one in three people play videogames on a regular basis." By taking a game-based approach to spreading awareness, Dr. Mason thinks he can educate a generation on the dangers of the degenerative brain disease.
Below, check out this behind-the-scenes doc on Cascade, followed by some awesome images of gameplay:
While it's no new concept for gaming to be an unbeatable vehicle for change, all we want to know is when we'll be able to get our hands and eyes on a copy of Cascade. Check out Fayju's "Building the Brain" feature to learn more about how the game was designed.