Red Aphid


Physical Therapy Games

As the lead game designer and Unity developer for Intergalactic Challenge of the Athlonauts, a Microsoft Kinect based physical therapy game Red Aphid provided game design, documentation, software development and level balancing. Part of the Multi-Sensory Room within the pain center at Children’s National Medical Center, the project was awarded “Best game/simulation” by the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare.

Our strategy was to apply popular game mechanic design to give patients, kids aged 6 to 16 who suffer chronic pain, a familiar and comfortable game environment to help reduce their anxiety. We also focused on creating an energetic, immersive experience to both motivate patients to exceed their therapy targets while distracting them from pain. We applied game design techniques that have repeatedly shown to motivate players such as leveling, scoring and earning power-ups. We designed game levels with balanced difficulty to challenge players to exceed their previous performance without unduly frustrating them.

Red Aphid applied interviews with clinic personnel, content providers, and current research into games and pain therapy to create an entertaining and clinical game system that satisfied both short-term and long-term goals for the patient’s therapy.


Coverage from the Washington Post (includes Video)


Interface Media Group and Children’s National Health System


2014 International Meeting on Simulation in Healthcare, 1st Place