BrainTrust unveils new game

Designed to teach kids about the dangers of head injuries, non-profit announces protectyourhead.com

Okanagan based not for profit association BrainTrust Canada is launching an innovative game to increase awareness of the seriousness of brain injury among youth ages 11 to 18.

The game is found online at www.protectyourhead.com and has three themes: Skateboarding, hockey and workplace safety – all potential risks for brain injury.

The game is described as unique and a hybrid in that it includes three sections: 1) retro Mario Bros. type jumping game; 2) a point and click exploratory sequence; and 3) an interactive text message stream where youth can choose answers and learn about brain injury.

CREW Marketing Partners (previously GOODSIR Creative) developed the new game completely, with all elements from scratch including the characters in the game. They were also the creators of the original protectyourhead.com website launched in 2007.

To test the concept and game, BrainTrust Canada coordinated focus groups with youth in the target age group, including those in Okanagan Mission Secondary’s Interact Club and the Boys and Girls Club. Sponsors that made this new project possible are WorkSafe BC, te Regional District of the Central Okanagan, Kelowna Ogopogo Rotary Club, Kelowna Sunrise Rotary Club, Kiwanis Summit Club, and RBC Dominion Securities Foundation.

“We aim to be inventive when it comes to youth and our prevention programs,” said Magda Kapp, Director of Communications & Prevention Services for BrainTrust Canada. “There is nothing quite like this game, and certainly it’s unique from the standpoint of it being developed from a not for profit association. Our hope is that up to 80% of youth in the Okanagan play the new game, learn something along the way, and have the chance to win prizes! If we can prevent even ONE brain injury, it’ll be worth it, as the estimated cost for one serious brain injury over a lifetime is in excess of $4 million,” says Kapp, “not to mention the immense personal costs of a life changed forever.”

The launch of the game is accompanied by a contest running from Feb. 27 to March 19 for youth 11 to 18 who live in the Okanagan region. There will be five randomly prize draws for Domino’s pizza for a class, as well as tickets to a Kelowna Rockets and Vernon Vipers game during the 2017/18 season. Both Central Okanagan School District and the School District in Vernon are encouraging students to play the game to learn about the importance of brain injury prevention.

The launch of www.protectyourhead.com will be accompanied by a “Did You Know” handout sheet for youth in the Okanagan with fun facts such as comparing a human brain to a computer; or its weight to a dolphin brain. It also explains that our brains keeping developing until about the age of 25.

“This last point is one of the key reasons why youth are at the highest risk for brain injury,” said Kapp. “Our frontal lobes – responsible for personality, decision making and judgment, are the last part of the brain to form. However, with up to 90 per cent of brain injuries being preventable, we hope that www.protectyourhead.com will bring some awareness to this issue with this hard to reach target group.”

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