What makes Olli Rundgren a Global Shaker?
Olli Rundgren is a Finnish ex high-stakes professional poker player who has created a game that could help fight the disastrous problem of vaccine hesitancy.
From poker, he went on to study various branches of science including chemistry, physics, cell and molecular biology, physiology and pedagogy at the University of Jyväskylä.
Now, he is combining his scientific knowledge with his obsession of understanding how games affect behaviour and learning.
Alongside the developer of the smash-hit game Angry Birds, he set up Psyon Games.
In 2016, the company started working with game designers and immunology and biopharma experts to create Antidote, a free fast-paced, strategic game for mobile phones based on real science.
Antidote: Battle of the Stem Cell is set under the microscope in a futuristic lab, and players must defend their stem cells against hordes of bacteria and viruses.
Rundgren has always been a gamer. Before getting into poker, he was an avid chess player as a child and then became a board game and computer game fanatic.
He says that this combined with his background in science and psychology “helped me understand the potential of games in shaping behaviour and, working with the right people, we’re applying this to health challenges.”
After winning a ‘Game of the Year’ award in Finland in 2017, Antidote was highlighted by the WHO as an example of innovative approaches to engaging the public.
Now, Finland’s National Institute for Health and Welfare is in talks with Psyon about testing the game in schools – and measuring its effects on vaccine uptake by using the population-based National Vaccine Register.Tags: education, Games, gaming, vaccination, vaccines, video games