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Norman video game company gives lessons on diabetes

BY JAMES S. TYREE Modified: November 15, 2009 at 7:49 am •  Published: November 15, 2009
NORMAN — Adam Grantham is, among many other things, a video game enthusiast and a diabetic.

The Norman resident decided to make the most of those realities last year when he formed the company Game Equals Life, which recently completed the prototype for an action video game designed to teach people the value in managing diabetes.

By creating "The Magi and The Sleeping Star,” Grantham hopes to combine two other worlds: education and entertainment.

"It looks and handles like a regular action adventure game,” he said. "Usually, education games don’t feel like regular games, they seem too academic. But with this game, we’re kind of sneak-teaching them the fundamentals of diabetes.”

The hero of the game’s prototype, a boy named Oz, fights dragon-like robot monsters that are defending various kingdoms in which his relatives are being held captive. As the robots are killed and a king captured in each kingdom, Oz liberates a relative and the rescue gives the hero a new type of magic for future battles.

Grantham, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes at age 10, said the game ultimately will allow players to model the hero after themselves. Either way, the hero keeps track of his carbohydrate ratio and insulin sensitivity as he or she wages battle.

Two important fundamentals in managing diabetes are testing one’s blood sugar often and being patient to let food or insulin take its effect on the body. Oz’s fighting and magical capabilities are based on him maintaining a healthy blood sugar level.

When it’s between 90 and 110, the optimum range in real life, he is at his best. The further his count is from that range, the less he is able to compete against the robot monsters. The hero eats or drinks when the level is too low or takes insulin when it is too high.