Nintendo Now Saving Children's Lives With the DS

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Nintendo Now Saving Children's Lives With the DS

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A new Nintendo DS game is helping kids monitor a disease that is typically tough to manage.

Pharmaceutical company Bayer has announced a new piece of technology for those affected by diabetes that works in tandem with the Nintendo DS. The Didget blood glucose monitoring system works just as you would expect, but also plugs into a DS to give users bonuses.

DSi and DSi XL owners need not apply, as Didget requires the Game Boy Advance slot to work. Plugging Didget into this slot will award those who have been testing their blood in a game called Knock 'Em Downs: World's Fair that comes with the meter.

In Knock 'Em Downs, players choose to be either Hunter or Britney as they attempt to save the fair from Carnie Cal, who was recently banished. The goal is apparently to foil his plot before it's too late and he... gets back into the fair? Bayer didn't say exactly what Carnie Cal is up to, but he wears a top hat and has a twirly mustache, so he must be evil incarnate. If it were me I probably would have gone with a Legacy of Kain tie-in. Insensitive?

Players of Knock will solve puzzles and visit seven unique lands. Testing regularly will unlock points that can be redeemed for new characters, mini-games, costumes, and more. Didget owners can also have individual pages on the Didget website where they can upload scores to leaderboards and unlock even more features by connecting Didget to their computers. As diabetes can be a hard illness to live with, I think tying it into playing the DS and to social networking is a really great idea.

With the Nintendo DS being used in schools, to help people quit smoking, to learn to cook, to become better McDonald's employees, and now saving lives, is there anything it can't do? The 3DS will probably end up helping us travel to to parallel universes, or at least give us a portal to look into them.

Via: Gamasutra

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I don't think a Legacy of Kain tie-in would be insensitive. After all, it means the kids with the disease get to play an awesome Legacy of Kain game.

While I applaud the initative to get more young diabeties sufferers to test their blood glucose levels, I can't help but think that the attached game doesn't sound very good. Especially if you don't have diabeties.

My little cousin who is 8 has diabeties, he absolutely hates testing himself, i don't blame him to those little prodder things that stab your fingers to get blood out hurt like hell, anything that made him like it more I guess would be a good thing.

Although in theory this sounds amazing I doubt it would be very effective really.

The concept of the idea? Good. The practicality of people actually doing it? Slim to none.

That's a lovely idea in my opinion, my grandfather suffered from diabetes so I could only imagine how tough it would be for a kid. This is solid proof that humour and happiness makes the world a better place.

It's good to see various video game consoles helping to better people's lives.

The made a game/thing to help people with...that isn't supported by Nintendo anymore since they're making DSi, DSiXL and DS3D since they have no GBA slots...Isn't that about as useful as making this for the NES at this point?

The more insensitive, desensitised and hand sanitiser part of me is wondering whether there'll be leaderboards for blood sugar levels too, but the rest of me seriously doubts that and is giving the other part of me an angry glare.

Seems like this would work fantastically for however long it takes for a kid to get bored of whatever game they're playing. Which, even in the case of a great game, isn't very long. I don't know whether Knock 'Em Downs is a great game or not, but Sturgeon's Law dictates that it probably isn't, in which case decrease the time accordingly. Work this functionality into World of Warcraft and then we might see some results.

I think it's a great idea (and hopefully the GBA port will be available on future DS models). This kind of thing is hard for kids to deal with as it is. This will at least make it a little better by making it into a game.

Think about your average kid. Prick your finger to find out your blood sugar? They're going to fight it. Prick your finger to unlock an achievement? More palatable.

interesting tie in. not the sleekest glucose detector but its definitely a start. way to tie in gaming to pharmaceuticals Bayer!

And who says that gaming cannot be useful! Well, I am sure those who suffer will find this extremly useful!

Snotnarok:
The made a game/thing to help people with...that isn't supported by Nintendo anymore since they're making DSi, DSiXL and DS3D since they have no GBA slots...Isn't that about as useful as making this for the NES at this point?

The DS Lite is still sold, you know; rightly so, too, as a few of the games actually require that GBA slot; Pokemon, for instance. Then there's the handy backwards-compatibility. The reason I didn't get anything past the Lite is because they lack that slot, actually.

I'm pretty sure it's not all that hard to get your hands on an original DS model, either.

well im a diabetic :), been that for 17 years since I was 5...and whilst I've never really had many problems with it, I can see where this would be a great idea. I think its interesting and a cool way of getting kids to actually monitor their blood sugar levels. I think this is a step in the right direction....im most pleased.

The game part probably needs refinement, but I say Bravo for a bright idea and a step in the right direction.

Playstation 3 move over.

Nintendo DS

It only does everything

My dad was a diabetic and even though the man was in his fifties, he hated to prick his finger...so yeah...this could be useful. I commend Bayer on this, it's useful and entertaining!

I can see why this seems like a good idea on paper.
But then rewind and take a look at the potential audience.

Gamers.
more specifically, Gamers with diabetes.
Now of course it's good to make keeping on top of your diabetes fun for a child as opposed to that horrible part of the day where you have to remember how annoying (and of course potentially life threatening) it is.

Now let's again look at Gamers, they're renowned for being, pretty competitive...
When presented with a leader-board or even just a means for comparing results they'll try their hardest to top it.

I'm almost completely ignorant as to how Diabetes works and as such have no idea if that's a bad thing, but what I'm definitely not ignorant of is gamers.

There are the idiotic types who sometimes, as a means of achieving something will strive to be the worst at something.
What happens when that something becomes 'the worst diabetic'.

Admittedly this scenario is incredibly unlikely, but c'mon people this is the internet, EVERYTHING can and will happen on it...

Again, like I said it's not likely, but it's a possibility to be considered.

But beyond that I can't honestly fault the idea.
It's only other flaw is that non-diabetics supposedly won't get enjoyment from it, but it's not for the non-diabetics... So why worry?


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What?! Nintendo found another way to print make money?

Truly Ground-breaking.

As a Nintendo fanboy I can't help but feel all of these life-friendly add ons and training programs are putting a strain on Nintendo's future in gaming; I mean, is the DS still a portable game system or has it become an electronic trainer???

Delusibeta:
While I applaud the initative to get more young diabeties sufferers to test their blood glucose levels, I can't help but think that the attached game doesn't sound very good. Especially if you don't have diabeties.

Yeah... If you don't have diabetes do you have to just cut yourself to unlock the bonuses? Thats kinda scary...

It's an interesting idea. Obviously aimed at those younger kids who don't really understand the severity of their condition. It would be nice to see some better games released.
Either way, I shall be telling my friend she must buy this. It's a cool idea, and could the teachers take your DS off you if doing so may kill you?

Other than the fact that its only available in Ireland and the UK, and the fact that Its only available for the DS, its a great idea. I keep waiting for GameEqualsLife to get an end product finished, but it never seems like its going to happen.

I'm 36 and a diabetic, and I know that I spend a portion of everyday doing something mindless or pointless. Instead of looking at facebook again, or doing mafiafarmpokerfishvampirewars, I would gladly check my blood sugars and play some quick simple game.

Especially if it finally gives me some advantage points wise over all you freakin normal people! LOL

I think this is a great idea.

People are motivated by scores, unlockables, achievements and the like. This could help get more lax kids to take their glucose level, and the idea of using videogames to motivate self-treatment could work for other diseases.

Snotnarok:
The made a game/thing to help people with...that isn't supported by Nintendo anymore since they're making DSi, DSiXL and DS3D since they have no GBA slots...Isn't that about as useful as making this for the NES at this point?

completely agree

and whilst it is a good idea i can't see it being very effective or widespread.

Being a type 1 diabetic I find this to be just plain stupid. A kid will not check his blood glucose (sugar) levels more often because he gets points. You should not test because you want more "points". You should test because you want to stay safe.

I know guys who have gone months without testing their sugar levels and ended much worse for wear because of it. I know another kid who has been in 4 seizures and bit parts of his tounge off in one. They should not test because they want points, they should do it so they don't go into a god damned comma and possibly die. They would not have done anything different if thishad been out.

Stuff like this kinda makes me mad. I really doubt it will help
any kids at all. When I was diagnosed (age 10) I tested and covered food not for any one else. I did it to keep myself safe in the long run. My cousin is also diabetic and so is my sister neither of them take care of themselves for any reason other then to stay safe. I find this to be a cash in for worried mothers who find their kids do not care. Trust me, if they do not care a game is not going to help. If they do not care they might also be suicidal. [/rant]

SoxFan96:
They should not test because they want points, they should do it so they don't go into a god damned comma and possibly die.

I agree from a practical standpoint, but the reality may be that some kids just don't quite understand the danger. This is no different than any other kids health gimmick that tries to make mundane tasks fun (like all those crazy toothbrushes out there). I don't think it's a perfect solution, but if it helps some people, then it's worth it. The important takeaway here is the use of gaming outside of a typical gaming context, something that may be able to solve problems of motivation in many areas of life.

What if the kid's got arthritis?

For bleep's sake, will someone either find a way to make add-ons that use the SD slot or create an adapter that allows the SD slot to use Advance-slot add-ons already?!

Callate:
For bleep's sake, will someone either find a way to make add-ons that use the SD slot or create an adapter that allows the SD slot to use Advance-slot add-ons already?!

If only it were that simple. In order to do that you'd need a firmware update and maybe some hardware tinkering to enable SDIO support.

What like a horrible painful death isn't incentive enough to check your blood sugar levels?

"Breaking News. Boy exsanguites himself into a semi-popular video game, losing nearly 3 liters of blood. "I must get....all...points and extras and stop Carnie Cal".
The makers of the videogame claim that it was never explicitely said to bleed out, just encouraged. Is this the new milestone of videogame violence, demanding your childs blood for "points"? Are videogames the work of satan? Many americans say..yes."

Holy crap, really? That was fast

PayJ567:
What like a horrible painful death isn't incentive enough to check your blood sugar levels?

Nope.

Maltyz:
What if the kid's got arthritis?

Well bless the little tyke but hes really FUBAR.

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