The Traffic Life Game
The Traffic Life Game is an educational board game developed by Laura Ogi, a Lead Clinical Psychologist at Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust (BCH). The board game helps adults with learning disabilities to recognise and manage risks associated with all types of relationships. It enables health and social care professionals to discuss sensitive issues/topics with people with learning disabilities, as well as offering a safe environment to talk about important issues, encouraging participants to support one another.
The game was created as many people with learning disabilities are often excluded from family or peer conversations on issues that may occur during relationships throughout their upbringing. These conversations are often avoided as it is assumed that they would not understand, and families feel like they should be sheltered. This leads to a lack of exposure to these conversations which help gradual developments in relationships.
For adults with learning disabilities the grey areas and risks associated with social and romantic relationships can be difficult to respond to. However, adults with learning disabilities still have active social lives and relationships, so it is important that they too are supported to discuss what may come along with all types of relationships. It is important that they learn how to stay safe and have an enjoyable life. The Traffic Life Game facilitates the learning of different social situations during relationships and helps to support individuals.
How did MidTECH help?
MidTECH helped to develop the Traffic Life Game in terms of its intellectual property and commercialisation.
Laura Ogi and her team from BCH came to MidTECH with the initial idea of the Traffic Life Game. They wanted to know how they could protect, develop and spread their idea further.
After discussing the idea, the MidTECH team did an initial assessment of the innovation, this included making sure that something like this wasn’t already on the market, the scope of intellectual property protection that was needed to move the project forward, the workability of the innovation, routes to commercialisation and potential adoption of the innovation by other NHS Trusts and users in the future.
After the initial assessment, MidTECH gave advice to Laura Ogi and her team on what the next steps should be. This involved ensuring that the copyright in the idea was fully recorded and had all the correct notices attached. This form of innovation, a method for playing a game, is excluded from patent protection so that was an avenue that wasn’t explored. NDA’s were also put into place so that if the team wanted to talk to potential partners some level of protection would be in place surrounding the expertise and know-how the team had in relation to the innovation.
Commercialisation and finding the right partner:
MidTECH have access to a wide range of networks and clinical and commercial contacts meaning that they could find suitable partners who may have been interested in taking the game on as a product.
Once the right company was found, MidTECH facilitated discussion between both parties and assisted with contracts and negotiations.
MidTECH connected the Trust with Focus Games. Focus Games have developed over 60 game-based resources to improve training, education and engagement in health and social care. The games that they develop encourage structured discussions about specific performance, safety and change issues. Players of the games they develop can learn and support another. Thus, Focus Games felt like the perfect partner to develop the Traffic Life Game.
MidTECH were able to advise both parties on getting the right agreements in place – from confidentiality agreements, to licence negotiations and contract drafting.
Once everything was covered, Focus Games produced the game as commercial product which is available for sale now, with a share of proceeds going back to the NHS organisation, this creating a financial benefit back to the NHS and also helping a wider range of people than if the innovation had stayed internal.
Overall to bring the Traffic Life Game to life, MidTECH helped with:
- Advice on IP and commercialisation
- Located and connected the Trust with Focus Games
- Facilitated discussions between both parties
- Drafted agreements – assisting with contracts and negotiations.
More information on the Traffic Life Game:
If you would like more information on the Traffic Life Game and how it helps people with learning disabilities, then please visit their case study on Meridian: https://meridian.wmahsn.org/subdomain/innovation-warehouse-stories/end/node/3214
If you would like to purchase the Traffic Life Game and adopt it in your Trust then please visit Focus Games: https://shop.focusgames.com/products/traffic-life-game?_pos=1&_sid=45f1dc474&_ss=r