Clinical trials are essential for finding out which medical interventions work on children and which don’t, or which don’t work the same way on children as they do on adults. Yet without participation from children in these trials, that can’t be known with certainty. Many children and their families are unfamiliar with clinical trials or hesitant to participate in them because of notions they hold about what might happen in a clinical trial.
WisdomTools and the New England Research Institutes are partnering to help dispel the myths and misconceptions that surround clinical trial participation. Using a serious game called Paper Kingdom, we are teaching children and their families about the reality of clinical trials—what they are, what the risks are, and what the benefits are.
Paper Kingdom is an adventure game where everyone and everything is made out of slips of paper. The player and his trusty sidekick search the Paper Kingdom for his little “brother” who “fell” into the Kingdom while reading about it in a book. The brother is traveling throughout the kingdom, expressing his fears about clinical trials in unique and creative ways. As he explores, he learns what he needs to know to dispel his fears, and eventually, with the help of the player, conquers his fears and finds his way out of the book and safely back home.