I am a type 1 diabetic and have had this condition for over 10 years now (diagnosed at 9 years old), and I have always loved video games since I was 5.
I am currently studying Computer Science in college, and in my last semester in one of my programming classes, my final project was to create a game with a serious meaning. What I created, is currently a simple prototype for a game (and by prototype I mean, just a boss fight at the moment), called Pancreas' Labyrinth.
The story of this game begins when a 9 year old boy who loves to play video games, is diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. A couple of days after being discharged from the hospital, the boy is playing his favorite dungeon video game, and suddenly gets trapped inside the game's world, only to find that this world of Pancria was once ruled by his pancreas, but had been dominated by the evil lord of Diabetes cleverly named, Mellitus. Mellitus had brought along a whole assortment of sugary minions with him to take over the land of Pancria, Luckly for the boy, upon entering Pancria, a suit of armor, and an insulin syringe sword had been bestowed upon him by Lantus, the diety of Insulin of Pancria. It is your job to restore peace, order and normal blood sugar levels to the land of Pancrea in this fun aerial-view dungeon game, that gives you the feel of what it's like to have Diabetes.
The gameplay will function a lot like the orginal Legend of Zelda, or the popular Indie game Binding of Isaac, where you must explore a dungeon, and fight off sugar bad guys (monsters and creeps made of anything from cookies to ice cream) and kill the boss to advance to the next dungeon. Unlike most hitpoint systems, this one will work much differently, your health is your blood sugar.Your blood sugar will start at 120 (considered normal blood sugar level for most type 1 diabetics) and will go up whenever you get hit by an enemy. In game you can find bottles of insulin, and when picked up will lower your blood sugar. A diabetic needs to constantly monitor their blood sugar, and if your blood sugar goes too high, you can suffer from a variety of consequences (comas, heart disease, amputations and more). In this game if your blood sugar were to go over 600, your character will go into a coma, will get rushed the emergency room. If your blood sugar drops below 30 from picking up too much insulin, you will pass out and get rushed to the ER as well.
Diabetes is very real, and this is what can happen if you don't take care of yourself as a Diabetic, and a lot of people don't realize it. This game may scare some people, but it's purpose is to really make people aware that Type 1 Diabetes is very serious, and there are millions of children, young adults and some adults living with Type 1 Diabetes. A lot of people usually confuse Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. Type 2 diabetes occurs when you don't take care of yourself and can have genetic causes as well and usually occurs in adults. Type 1 Diabetes can be genetic, or can occurs with no causes at all, and usually occurs in children, and even infants can be born with it.
As stated earlier, I have a very simple prototype that I will most likely not use for a full game. If I were to continue this project, it would most likely be after I graduate college and have a steady job (probably 5+ years) and would probably work on with a team. I have yet to see a video game about diabetes, especially Type 1, and I feel it would be a very good idea.
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