Killing Cancer Cells, Arcade-Style

Alessia Andreotti
June 28th 2013

Even if medicines are getting smarter thanks to nanotechnology, they still often require human direction. The Healing Game, a speculative nano-device developed by Martijn van den Broeck at the Next Nature Lab, offers this to the patient in the form of a lifesaving video game.

How does it work? The player swallows an intelligent pill, containing nanoscale capsules and a substance that makes cancer cells glow. By controlling one capsule with a joystick, the player goes on a "search and destroy" mission inside his or her own body. Even friends and family can be invited to help.

The author of the Healing Game is Martijn van den Broeck, a 20-year-old student of Industrial Design at the Eindhoven University of Technology. We met him at the Next Nature Lab exposition, where he explained:

I had the idea for this project because I wanted to combine something funny, that makes you happy, like the game, with its total opposite, the illness. I think the Healing Game relates to the next nature philosophy because our generation is born and grown playing with video games, we all know how to use them, I just figured a new unexpected application for video games, combining the virtual with the real, the entertainment with the helpful, the familiar with the extraordinary. The goal of this work is to stimulate discussion and debate by translating nanotechnological trends to everyday products.

A next nature philosophy demonstrates, video games are getting closer and closer to real nature.

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1 comment

Posted 28/06/2013 – 23:43

What is your view on the coronavirus?

Siri Beerends: I really embrace the idea that viruses can teach us a lesson in modesty. It is necessary that our position as the dominant species on the planet is being challenged. I also agree that it is a mistake to think that we are becoming Gods. But unfortunately, this is actually what is happening now. Corona doesn’t teach us to be modest, it teaches us how we can -as quickly as possible- go back to business as usual: saving our capitalistic economy.

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