Healthcare
Research
Storytelling
UX

A Good Death

Emma Wootton

A culturally-inclusive game that allows families to have a proactive, indirect conversation about end-of-life care decisions in old age.

Why

Though 83% of people in Canada think it’s important discuss their end-of-life preferences with their family, only 34% have actually done so. People avoid bringing the topic up because it’s emotionally difficult and taboo; this becomes even more complicated when you factor in different comfort levels across cultures. Families end up in crisis situations, having to make difficult end-of-life care decisions without knowing what their loved one wants.

How

My approach was culturally-inclusive, because the existing healthcare solutions are Western-centric. I found that while everyone feels emotional distress talking about it, having a direct conversation is especially difficult for many cultures. By creating a scenario-based game, it takes the onus off the individual and allows families to have an indirect conversation about their values.

What

Players follow the story of a senior couple as the wife ages, falls ill and the husband has to decide whether to continue her life or not. The narrative is presented on a central computer screen and players input choices on their mobile phones at key points. The decision has to be unanimous to progress, so families have to discuss what life means to them and what they value in each situation.