The first project I worked on as a fulltime employer at Ranj Serious Games was Divo’s Buzz, a game to teach the player the effects and risks about different kinds of soft and hard drugs. We developed the game for Samantha Harteveld, who would be taking the game in a specially designed arcade cabinet to schools, youth pubs and other places where teenagers would gather.
Players have the choice between several kinds of quizzes about drugs or an image/text matching game. In the quiz both negative and positive influences of drugs and alcohol are shown in feedback animations of show master Divo. Once a match game or a quiz has been completed, a reaction game gets unlocked.
In this side scrolling minigame Divo is trying to make his way home from the disco. He passes dealers and “friends” offering him various kinds of drugs. If the player decides to use the drugs, then Divo will experience their side effects immediately. The more drugs Divo takes, the more intense the side effects, and the harder it becomes to successfully finish the game.
With the game teenagers would gain an awareness of the different effects, good and bad, of most available drug types without yelling “don’t do drugs!”. Although most of the players would get through the quizzes just to get to the side scroller, in the end they learned a lot about all the drugs represented in the tool. They even started to educate one another while playing the minigame, having become experts through the power of videogames!