RePlay Health

Can games change the hearts and minds of decision-makers and healthcare providers in the U.S.?  Can they fix the healthcare cost crisis?  Tiltfactor’s RePlay Health project aims to do just that.

In conjunction with the Rippel Foundation and The Dartmouth Center for Healthcare Delivery Science, our design team modeled, and made playable, elements of the ReThink Health simulation in a way that players could experience empathy and understanding for the many major players in the healthcare system.

Through this live action, easy to play sport, healthcare providers, policy-makers, and healthcare recipients can quickly and simply experience the state of our healthcare system, and the options we can pursue to change it.  Through their decisions, players can interact with the causes and effects of big “what if” questions in healthcare.  What if we paid healthcare providers differently? What if our hospitals ran more efficiently? What if everyone only went to the ER when they actually needed emergency care?

In his famous New Yorker article, The Cost Conundrum, Atul Gawande writes about how the solutions to our medical cost crisis are not going to be policy change. Instead, he says the solutions lie in encouraging organizations that value quality healthcare and do not treat patients as revenue sources. While such organizations exist, running healthcare like a business and optimizing profits is becoming more and more the norm. In short, the solution is attitude change that leads to behavioral change. This is where the RePlay Health games come in. We expect that by allowing participants to experience and interact with a microcosm of the healthcare system through a game, we can achieve that attitudinal change


In RePlay Health, players experience the first Role-Playing Sport!

Your health is taking a turn for the worse.  You must decide: do you want to take time off from work (and lose the opportunity to score points) in order to better your health now?  Or should you push your luck and hope it doesn’t get worse? Maybe things wouldn’t have gotten as bad if you had quit smoking and taken your medication like you were supposed to, but it’s too late for that!  Players quickly learn that the system is flawed, and in between rounds it’s their job to improve it.  They can compete against each other every round, and they can compete against other groups by comparing their group scores online!

RePlay Health provides a model of a simplified and abstracted health care system that acts as a vehicle for player chosen initiatives and changes to that system.  Aside from the minute-to-minute play experience, the game allows players to pull levers within its model and see how health, productivity, and costs react.  Most of the components can be downloaded for free from our website, and the game can be played inside or outside, with 10-25 players and one or two moderators.

To read play experiences, download the latest version of RePlay Health, and try it at your favorite conference, meeting, or party event, visit:

  • Executive Producer: Mary Flanagan
  • Game Design: Mary Flanagan, Max Seidman, Nick O’Leary, Andrea McClave, Zara Downs, Rebecca Leong
  • Health Care and Health Care Delivery Expertise: Pat Lee, Al Mulley
  • Graphic Design: Zara Downs
  • Illustration: Alannah Linkhorn
  • Research: Geoff Kaufman
  • Additional Research: Simone Wien, Joe Ramsawak, Cote Theriault
  • Project Coordination: Sukdith Punjasthitkul
  • Game Design Consultation: Jeff Watson, Naomi Clark

Created in collaboration with The Rippel Foundation