More initiatives of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft
De
More initiatives of the Hamburg Kreativ Gesellschaft

Three Questions to: RetroBrain R&D - Working on the Intersection between Gaming and Eldercare

The Hamburg-based company RetroBrain R&D is exploring the fascinating cross-section of an easy-to-use game console for the elder generation that has not come into touch with video games so often yet, while also functioning as a medical device that increases their physical and mental fitness.

The topic has been in the talks in the industry for quite some time, and maybe you have even already spotted a Nintendo Wii in a care facility in the past. However, RetroBrain R&D is broaching the field with scientific backing and so we were interested to learn more about them and their project. We took the opportunity to ask Manouchehr Shamsrizi, Co-Founder and former CEO of RetroBrain R&D a few questions.

What is the memoreBox and what inspired the idea? Why did you choose Hamburg as your seat of operations?

On the one hand, the memoreBox is an easy-to-use gaming console for elderly people. On the other hand, it is a medical device aiming to increase physical and mental fitness as well as inclusion while playing. As such, it is “among the first videogames worldwide certified as a medical device” and one of the first digital solutions in nursing eligible for reimbursement by health insurances in Germany. We founded RetroBrain R&D, the social business behind the memoreBox, to change both, the practice of care (and notably of the availableness of prevention in care), but also the idea - or one might say: the “Menschenbild” - of our aging society: No matter how old or ill you are, thanks to video games, you can have fun, be active and autonomously, and make your own decision. Working at the interface of gaming, digital health, and social entrepreneurship we needed to find a region which can provide us with access to all three ecosystems - thus, Hamburg is the perfect city for us! We still have a strong bond to Berlin, though, as RetroBrain R&D is a spinoff of the gamelab.berlin, a research group of the Humboldt-Universität.

The memoreBox, the gesture controlled gaming console

You recently conducted a study on the effects of the memoreBox, could you describe this study and its findings?

The effects of our memoreBox are studied regularly and very interdisciplinary, as the impact we strive for happens on various levels. This is both needed for advancing our games (and thus our impact), as well as required by regulations - after all, we are working with and on a medical device here, even if it is a lot of fun, as it should be! Indeed, very recently a group of scientists featuring, among others, psychologists Prof. Dr. Reinhard Beyer and Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Luzi Beyer, published the results of longstanding study in a peer-reviewed journal. They concluded that “the results of this study showed that the intervention had an impact on the cognitive abilities of seniors, provided that they regularly played the serious game of MemoreBox”, and that “[i]mplementing an easy-to-use serious game as an effective (prevention) tool and making it part of the standard care in nursing homes might contribute considerably to the weak health care system, in which there tends to be a lack of activating offers for senior citizens in partially inpatient care facilities”.

Users playing on the console

What is your company’s vision (or prediction) for the future of the memoreBox and the area of games for seniors overall?

At RetroBrain R&D we believe that video games will be among the most effective non-pharmaceutical interventions, and have huge therapeutic, preventive, and rehabilitative potentials. For the current version of our memoreBox, we recently formed strong partnerships, like with Schenker Technologies - renowned for its brand XMG - to cope with the rising demand which results from the recent positive decision on regular reimbursement (“Regelversorgung”) by leading statutory health insurance providers in Germany. Other partnerships will allow us to further expand our impact to the rest of Europe, which we started to work on in Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. In general, “Health Games” are here to stay, not only for seniors - it does not have to be grueling, boring and dreadful to maintain or regain your health, quite the contrary: It is more sustainable, productive and ethically desirable when staying healthy is fun. Encouragingly, the potential of “Health Games” has been recognized by many important and influential stakeholders here in Germany, including the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds - which a few months ago included gaming and gamification in its guidelines on health prevention - and the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry, which just recently called on our Federal Government to broach the issue of “Health Games”. Both the gamescom last year and the upcoming Capital Congress Medicine and Health, each a leading event of their industry, gave / give special attention to this debate - anyone who is interested is invited to join us there this week.

This, by the way, is also a huge chance for Hamburg and our many indie game studios: I am convinced that we are in a “pole position” for this trend, thanks to our strong gaming-community, our research institutions, and the funding programmes offered by the City of Hamburg, like InnoRampUp. We should make use of these resources, as there are many more games to develop and much more impact to bring about! Let me finish with an invitation: Please reach out to us, if you work on “Health Games” or want to start working on such games - we are very happy to share our experiences, just as we have been supported by fellow (social) entrepreneurs when we started in 2014 :-)

--

Want to know more about the "memoreBox"? Check out the company's website: https://www.retrobrain.de/
 

News

Games Influencers From Hamburg You Should Know In 2022 - Influencer Guide Pt. 1

Influencers can be an enormous help for developers and gaming startups. With their help, you can put your game on the map and reach an even wider audience. But first, one must get to know the local influencer landscape so let’s have a look at five of the most successful games influencers from Hamburg.

New Feature: The Company Index

We've got a new feature on our website: The company index, listing over 200 companies from Hamburg's vast games industry landscape - check it out!

Pride and diversity: Links, tips and resources

Diversity has become a central topic for the games industry and information, attention and networking are important in this context. On the occasion of Pride Month, we collect events, resources and organizations that can be interesting for LGBTQ+ game developers, employers or allies to start digging deeper into the topic.

Games Lift: Good for you?

If things go well here, we like to keep them going. That is certainly the plan with our Games Lift Incubator. After two successful runs, preparations for the third are well underway. We are still open for teams with a strong vision and ambitious goals. But there’s only a few days left.

Three Questions to: Explorlings - makers of the child-friendly game "Sheeplings"

The Hamburg-based studio Explorlings has a special mission: developing apps for a responsible and gentle introduction of children to the world of digital devices. Lately, they released their first game "Sheeplings" - we took the opportunity to ask Bernhard Mies, CEO and founder of Explorlings a few questions.

Celebrating Pride Month

Gamecity Hamburg celebrates Pride Month June with positive examples of LGBTQ+ related games, a new Gamecity Impulse talk and more.

Games Lift Incubator - The Alumni's Experiences

The Games Lift Incubator is going into the third edition in 2022 already, so we took the opportunity to ask three alumni of the past two years about their experience with the program. These are three very different projects so we were especially curious about their impressions. You can currently apply to the 2022 edition of the Games Lift Incubator until June 14. We hope these reports on the Incubator will help you with your decision to apply.   

Prototype Funding 2022: 398,000 euros for six projects from Hamburg

In the 2022 funding round of the Gamecity Hamburg Prototype Funding program the awarding committee decided to fund six prototypes for digital games by Hamburg-based devs and studios with a total of 398,000 euros. Congratulations to all recipients - we are already excited to see all projects grow and take up speed!

Games Lift Insights with Cassia Curran on May 24

Join our Games Lift Team and Cassia Curran, Founder and Strategic Advisor at Curran Games Agency, for insights into our Games Lift Incubator program and a workshop about games market analysis for indies on May 24 at 4:30 pm. The event will be held online and in English.

Apply now for Games Lift 2022

From May 9 to June 14, you can apply for our Games Lift Incubator 2022! Take the chance to bring your game ideas and concepts for digital games to the next level!

Successful premiere of Pitch Level Up

At our first new event format "Pitch Level Up" more than 80 participants got some valuable insights and tips from our industry experts on pitching and on optimizing their pitch decks in talks and 1:1 feedback sessions at the Hamburger Ding.

Three Questions to: Unechte Sachen

Unechte Sachen are a young team that met while studying in Darmstadt. Now they are in Hamburg working hard on their VR project "Puppet Play", in which you can create your own little movies and let your imagination run wild. We had the opportunity to do a quick three-question interview with Lukas Hort of Unechte Sachen.

More News
Cookies are used to make this website work and to enhance your experience.

To learn more about the types of cookies this website uses, see our Cookie Policy. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

Cookies are used to make this website work and to enhance your experience.

To learn more about the types of cookies this website uses, see our Cookie Policy. You can decide for yourself which categories you want to allow. Please note that based on your settings, not all functions of the website may be available.

Your cookie preferences have been saved.