Boehringer Ingelheim has announced the beta launch of its first social game on Facebook, called Syrum. Syrum will be a new and evolving platform for the research-driven pharmaceutical company to inspire and educate in a changing digital world. In development for more than two years, Syrum has been specifically designed to demonstrate the complex processes around medicine research and development through gaming mechanics. It aims at promoting science and innovation to the digital community in a fun and engaging way.
"The use of gaming in education has been put to effective use all over the world as more organisations appreciate that humans are better motivated and stimulated by interaction, fun and engagement", says Dr Jez Rose, behavioural psychologist from Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom. "Syrum is a fantastic example of how fun gaming can be used to provide educational delivery, whilst maintaining interest and engagement through a logical, platform learning style."
Syrum allows players to create and run their own pharmaceutical company, using a virtual laboratory to discover and develop imaginary medicines to improve the health of the world. Molecular compounds can be developed and then traded with other players. In each ‘chapter’, the player has to solve a particular problem, whether a disease or a pandemic. The goal is to discover cures by first creating a stable medicine, conducting a clinical trial and finally bringing the medicine to the market.
"The research driven pharmaceutical industry is immersed in education - whether aimed at medical or pharmaceutical professionals or providing information directly to the public," says John Pugh, Director of Digital at Boehringer Ingelheim. "Gaming is an experimental way for Boehringer Ingelheim to do this. The challenge is to do this in a truly engaging, educational and entertaining way that immerses the player."
Syrum is built on Facebook, and has already generated a high level of interest, both within the pharmaceutical industry and amongst gamers. More than 1,000 people have already signed up to play in advance of the launch via the website www.syrum-game.com.
The game is launched first in a beta format outside the US and Canada to actively encourage feedback from the players and will be constantly developed based on the players’ ideas and thoughts.
The official global launch of Syrum is planned for 2013.