Thursday, May 22, 2008

Educational Game Proposal- snail bait... ahh!

(((Sorry this is so long... I dont really know if this is even a "game" but it's all I could think of that applied to my final project. Either way, here ya go...)))

My final project is going to be on the use of snail bait. Although both types of snail bait (toxic and non-toxic) are available for consumers, many people are not aware of the potential harm it has on their pets. The idea for a game that I have is to see through the eyes of the consumer, manufacturer and the veterinary technicians that have to treat the pets who eat this product.

The game will start out with the character you play going to the store like OSH or Lowe’s in order to pick a bag of snail bait for their horrible snail problem in their garden. Once they buy it they can choose the places in the garden of where to place it. Then the dogs come in (although cats can be affected by it too, dogs are just more common to consume it). The dogs will not be able to be controlled by the player but once he/she eats the bait the fun begins…

As the player you then see your dog on the ground not moving because they ate the toxic snail bait. Then you will have to rush to the veterinary hospital to treat your dog. You walk in the hospital and they take the dog to the back automatically. On the side of the screen once you enter the hospital you see a bill that keeps wracking up the longer you stay there. The initial charge is $118 just for the doctor to see your pet. At the end of your stay, if you pet survives, your bill will be near a thousand dollars. You must pay ½ of this upfront or get Care Credit.

Then as you sit in the waiting room and look at your bill wracking up, the game will shift to the back of the hospital- the treatment area. You bring in the box of snail bait that you used in your garden. You will then have to decipher if it is the toxic or non-toxic form of snail bait. If it is non-toxic then you are fine and the player learns what types are acceptable to buy. Your bill then will only be $118. If you bring in a toxic box of snail bait, which will happen most of the time you will see your pet on the treatment table seizing.

As you go along, there will be little “Problem Pop-ups”. These will go through all the issues dogs experience after they eat snail and it gets into their blood stream. One example would be: “Your dog has a fever of 107.1°. What do you do?” It will be multiple choice- a) put them on a cold surface b) apply ice packs c) give more drugs. “You have to give your dog an enema. What are you looking for in their stool? a) green gooey stuff b) solid brown stool c) speckled grainy black stuff.” You have to answer the questions right otherwise your pet dies.

I want this to be more of an educational game that helps people realize how serious the problem of toxic snail bait is. Therefore, another question will require the player to do some math. For example, you will have to calculate doses of drugs to treat your pet. “The Doctor has prescribed __mg of Valium, if Valium comes in __mg/ml, how many mls should you give your pet?”

If you get to the end of the treatment and you pet gets better you win because you get your pet back but you are stuck with a huge bill. That’s the reality of using toxic snail bait. The ending question will be: “Is having a snail-free garden worth all of this trouble, stress, and money?” Of course, it’s not!

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