[This unedited press release is made available courtesy of Gamasutra and its partnership with notable game PR-related resource GamesPress.]
The science of pain isn't an obvious starting point for an
online game. But the
certainly has good form making tricky subject matter fun
for all ages.
On average, we each consume 373 painkillers per year. Perhaps
more surprisingly, scientists have proven that our mood levels
affect how intensely we feel pain, and that spider venom could hold
the key to future pain treatment. All this and more is explored in
a quirky new game called OUCH, part of the Science Museum’s
The game, created by specialist digital studio
, begins by challenging players to inflict injuries on a
loveable, unwitting protagonist. Using their arsenal of placebos,
painkillers and spider venom, players then defend a pulsing brain
against waves of pain signals. This is top-down, frantic gameplay
at its most basic and beautiful.
With graphics inspired by classic designers such as Saul Bass
and Otto Neurath, the game has a rich and unique appearance unlike
traditional online Flash games. The addictive gameplay is enough to
keep the player refining strategies in pursuit of the high
OUCH represents a new direction in games commissioning for
Science Museum. The project is a collaboration between the museum
team, 13-year-old students from
. The students were involved from the beginning, making
decisions on content and gameplay.
Ben Templeton, Creative Director at Thought Den, explains: "It's
not often we involve the audience in concept generation. It was a
fun way to kick off and means the game strikes a good balance
between what the museum want to teach people and the level of
playabilty young people have come to expect."
Jane Audas, project producer for Science Museum, says: "Thought
Den is an agency to watch. OUCH is funny, seriously playable
and slick to look at. Having pain management as a subject matter
could have been a barrier to delivering an enjoyable experience,
but OUCH is a cracker."
The game will be on touchscreens in the Science Museum's
forward-thinking Antenna gallery from Nov 8th. Players around the
world can test their mettle online here :