Re-Mission continues popularity streak by addressing the taboo of cancer

Re-Mission, a 2006 PC release that addresses the difficulties of cancer for teenagers and young adults, continues to be popular among 12-to-29 year olds, research psychologist and HopeLab studio co-founder Pam Kato told the Wall Street Journal.

"We had very high production values," said Kato, explaining the game's success six years after its release. "They have stood up well. But a big factor in the game's success was that we did the research. We showed that it had an impact on a major factor that is related to survival, which is taking your medication. The children who played our game took more of their antibiotics and more of their oral chemotherapy."

She adds that the title's continued success is also down to to the way in which it aids teenagers in understanding what cancer does to the body, how treatment methods such as chemotheraphy work and some of the side-effects that go hand-in-hand with this treatment, such as vomiting and constipation.

"We did focus groups, and kids were relieved to discover that their embarrassing problem that they often thought was just [affecting] them was so widespread it was in a videogame," she said. "And more than that, there was something they could do about it themselves."

"It allowed teens to discuss their cancer with their peers," she added. "It was something they could share. Often their friends would ask for a copy. I would tell them 'No, you don't have cancer.'"

Kato is no longer associated with the project; However, it is still available to download or order online. Re-Mission was first developed by molecular geneticist and HopeLab founder Pam Omidyar. The project was initially funded following the success of eBay, founded by Omidyar's husband, Pierre Omidyar.

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