Attention Retraining Technologies and digital agency Tangent Snowball today announce the launch of ChimpShop, a mobile game designed to assist in the reduction of alcohol consumption. The app has been developed with funding from the Department of Health’s Small Business Research Initiative and supported by NHS England (London). It can be downloaded by anyone over 18 on the App Store (69p) and GooglePlay (99p).
How to play (see video)
Set in a time when supermarkets are staffed by Chimps, players must chase them down a supermarket aisle in an attempt to stop them from taking over the supermarket. Players must catch the ‘good stuff’, such as bananas, thrown at them by the chimps whilst avoiding the ‘bad stuff’, such as a pint of beer. They can replenish their energy with energy drinks along the way, which is needed as the game becomes increasingly challenging as you progress.
The science bit
ChimpShop has been developed from original research by Profe ssor Miles Cox, a world expert in the motivational aspects of alcohol use and other addictive behaviours. Professor Cox has shown in the lab that if we can ‘train’ our brains to pay less attention to alcohol related stimuli that this can lead to reduced consumption.
Chris Hillier, co-founder of Attention Retraining Technologies says: “In London alone, it is estimated that 2.4 million people drink alcohol at harmful and hazardous levels and that a further 280,000 are dependent on alcohol in order to function in daily life. It is clear that further intervention is needed to reduce this figure.”
Peter Miller, Creative Director, Tangent Snowball concludes: “Using technology to address issues such as alcohol addiction isn’t unusual, as the plethora of self-help apps that have launched over the past few years shows. What is unusual though is for the app to be a game and available to both consumers and health practitioners. The fact that something designed to entertain can have such a profound impact on our health is astonishing and we are proud to have been able to turn the idea into a reality.
ChimpShop takes a completely different approach to a need for early alcohol intervention and is available to both the general public and health authorities and practitioners.