Minecraft is popular—really popular. So it’s no surprise that Pfizer is looking to capitalize on that success.
The pharma giant has launched Hemocraft, a take on the ultrasuccessful video game that’s just for hemophilia patients. Developed in partnership with the Entrepreneurial Game Studio at Drexel University and representatives from the hemophilia community, the game is meant to help younger patients—between the ages of eight and 16—learn “the importance of integrating treatment into their routine,” Pfizer said.
How does Hemocraft do that? As part of their quest, game players interact with the so-called “village doctor”—a fictional healthcare professional—to learn how to adhere to their treatment plans and understand how their therapies work. They put that knowledge to use throughout the game, as they’re challenged to monitor factor levels and self-infuse to control bleeding.
If Hemocraft turns out to be a hit even a fraction of the size of Minecraft, Pfizer will be in good shape. The building game has sold more than 1 million copies around the world and ranks high among the most popular games ever created.
But Pfizer isn’t stopping there. It’s also rolled out a new piece of wearable tech: a wristband dubbed HemMobile Striiv. The wearable—the first made for hemophilia patients, Pfizer says—tracks activity levels and heart rate, and the company is offering it free of charge to all U.S. hemophilia patients, no matter what therapy they’re on. To use it, though, patients will likely want to download the HemMobile app—used to log bleeds and infusions, monitor factor supply and set appointment reminders–that Pfizer already offers.
“These new digital innovations can be integrated into everyday routines to help empower people with hemophilia to learn about and track different aspects relevant to their disease so that they can have informed conversations with their health care providers,” Kevin Williams, chief medical officer of Pfizer’s rare-disease unit, said in a statement.
Pfizer, which markets recombinant factor IX treatment BeneFix, is currently battling a host of companies in the hemophilia field, including Bioverativ, Novo Nordisk, Shire and Bayer. And things are only set to get more intense once gene therapies hit the scene.
At that point, though, the New York drugmaker is hoping to be in the thick of things; in late 2014, it struck a gene therapy collaboration with Spark Therapeutics over hemophilia B candidate SPK-FIX.
Outside of painted cardboard boxes and foam, toys are the best way to play with Minecraft in the real world. Jinx’s second series of Minecraft Craftables vinyl toys feature nine collectible kits that combine together into three iconic Minecraft locales.
The first wave of Craftables, currently sold out at Jinx but possibly available elsewhere, were singular builds. The nine kits in the series each featured a character, creature or combination of the two. Opening one of the blind boxes revealed a set of small vinyl bits that combined into a larger vinyl bit, and the constructing was done.
Series two does things a little differently. Each of the nine kits available still function as a solo piece, but this time around the pieces combine into a larger scene. For example, here is the Ender Dragon, freshly removed from its box.
Once assembled we’ve got a nifty little figure of the dragon perched on a tower, blowing a lovely translucent gout of purple pixel flame.
Here’s another kit. This one is Alex and Steve, outfitted in diamond armor. It’s kind of a weird pose, with the two facing one another. Are they quarreling among themselves?
And what of the mysterious Enderman, which refuses to be photographed without blur no matter how I tried?
Once the three sets are combined, it all makes sense. Alex is defending against the dragon’s flames, while Steve prepares to loose an arrow in the Enderman’s direction, like that will help. These two heroes are so dead.
Meanwhile, in the Nether, Steve stands poised to battle . . . something.
Or maybe he’s running away from the zombie pigman, whose base connects to Steve’s set, adding a stream of molten lava to the mix?
Or maybe, just maybe, the two of them are teaming up to fight against the creepy Ghast, floating above a bed of translucent orange?
My favorite of the three combined sets begins with a pig peeking out of a window. Had I received no other sets but the pig peeking out of the window, I would have been perfectly happy.
I would have also accepted the horse with its head stretched over a fence, chewing on some grass. You can’t go wrong with a blocky horse.
Especially a blocky horse with a duck attached to its tail.
I probably wouldn’t have been as happy had I just received the village priest. With his high forehead and what looks like Burt from Sesame Street’s nose, the dude creeps me out.
Put them all together, however, and suddenly he’s not so bad. We now see that the pig feels the same way I do, and the cow couldn’t care less. He’s got a mouthful of grass and a tail duck.
All in all, Minecraft Craftables series two is pretty sweet, definitely a big improvement over the original. The only problem is the delivery method. Since these come in blind boxes, fans will either have to pray they get the right nine or purchase a full case of 27, selling off the extra two sets. Considering how well these all come together, that shouldn’t be too hard a task.
Minecraft Craftables series two goes on sale on September 15 at Jinx.
The brand new patch for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds hit the game’s test server this morning, and players were delighted to find a brand new set of buildings on the map.
Located in the Northeast corner of the map, the new town is called Kameshki and it takes up a spot that was previously mostly empty. It is closest to Stalber, which also got a bit of an upgrade with the addition of a few buildings as well.
Where Kameshki now stands, there used to be just a few small buildings. Now there is plenty to loot, and it offers yet another spot for players to drop at or head towards in a game of PUBG.
Even Stalber seems worth looting now as a number of buildings have been added, as can be seen in the image above. Overall, these changes make the Northeast area of the map way more worthwhile to visit than ever before.
These new changes are now available to play on the test server, and the update should hit PUBG’s live servers some time this week if all goes according to plan.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ new desert map is still many months away, but the game’s players are still very excited about it.
We’ve seen numerous teaser images of the map, but no real information has come out about it—until today, thanks to a post on Reddit. The minimap for the new unnamed desert map has been revealed via a test server datamine, and it looks pretty cool so far.
The map has some very interesting names for towns and cities in place. The biggest city is known as “Hard Luck,” with other areas labeled “Kill Box,” “Wasteland,” “Mishap,” and “Murderland.” These names are likely placeholders, but they definitely invoke a certain kind of mental image, don’t they?
The layout is different enough from PUBG’s original map, Erangel, while being similar as well, with numerous towns and cities with large open areas and small towns in between.
Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene recently revealed that this new map will be “roughly” the same size as Erangel, as well as posting a teaser image of what looks like a large city—most likely the “Hard Luck” area seen on the map.