Sleep shapes a new Computer Game for Teenagers

Channel 4 Education and Chunk have co-operated to let teens turn their sleep patterns into a game with new app called ‘Zeds’.

Channel 4 Education and Chunk have co-operated to let teens turn their sleep patterns into a game with new app called ‘Zeds’.

Channel 4 Education and Games company Chunk have today launched a new app, which lets teenagers record their sleep patterns, which is then used to build a ‘track’ for a game.

Called Zeds, the tracks created by the apps reflect the pattern of the sleep, changing features as you move from light to deep, and aims to show teenagers the effects of poor quality of sleep.

When sleep has been really poor, the game will be much harder, while periods of deep sleep are calmer and populated with collectible ‘Z’s, giving temporary immunity and other bonuses – in the usual way of reward.

The owner and founder of Chunk, Donnie Kerrigan, said: “Channel 4’s brief was to present the facts about sleep to teenagers, an do it in a format that they’d engage with, to help them come to their own conclusions about their sleeping habits and how it affects them.

“Tracking their sleep, and then delivering the data as a game, is as direct, entertaining and memorable way of doing that as we can imagine. And, importantly, it’s a unique idea that will catch their interest in the first place.”

Chunk commissioned BAFTA award winning animation team, The Brothers McLeod, to bring the game characters and environments to life.

Faraz Osman, Editor of Dducation at Channel 4, said: “We wanted to encourage teenagers to both switch off from their gadgets, and help them understand the benefits of doing so. New research is revealing that sleep is a vital part of education and development and impacts on so many elements of life for teens, and yet is often overlooked, or felt to be unimportant. We wanted something that could alter that perception in an intelligent way.”

Available at the moment on iPhone and iPod Touch, the app is also supported by Professor Russell Foster, FRS; Professor of Circadian Neuroscience at Oxford University.

By John Redfern