• Project – BackQuack – Slide 1
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  • Project – BackQuack – Slide 3
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With rising costs in health insurance and medical procedures, as well as the tendency to initially medicate most ailements, it is becoming increasingly important to ensure general practitioners and patients alike understand the effective treatments for common practices for conditions such as back pain so that an open dialogue can ensue once inside the doctor’s office.

This project involves developing an online game that presents both sides of a doctor patient interaction to expose common pitfalls doctors may encounter but also to educate patients in back pain common practices. The doctor’s side of the game allows the player to work for a “good” clinic or an “evil” clinic. Each clinic has their own internal goals as the doctor conducts physical exams, orders treatments, and participates in an indepth question and answer session. By allowing the doctor to work for an evil clinic they are encouraged to do everything wrong which exploits the notion that we learn more from our failures than our successes. As the doctor progesses through the game, the environment changes to reflect the doctor they are becoming. Once finished, the doctor is given a clear breakdown of their strengths and weaknesses for review.

The patient side of the game presents a wide range of information about back pain and common practices. The player can then go through question and answer section of the doctor’s game using their condition as the starting point to get comfortable with what may take place once in the doctor’s office.

Journals, Publications, Presentations

  • Academy of Health Conference, 2012 (Poster)
  • U-M Invention Celebration, 2010 (Booth)


(Overview of the BackQuack Game)


This project has been completed and released into the wild.  Play it!


BackQuack was commissioned by the Center for Healthcare Research and Transformation, a not-for-profit organization sponsored by the University of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. It was designed by a team from Haig et al., Consulting and the University of Michigan’s 3-D computer lab.

Andrew Haig
Project Lead
Sierra Loar
MPA Coordination
Eric Maslowski
Project Manager and Software Developer
Lilienne Chan
Digital Artist, Student
Eric Priestly
Digital Artist, Student
Ed Mann
Digital Artist, Student
Nick Grundler
Digital Artist, Student


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Be a Good Doctor or a Bad One with BackQuack – Overview (Video)

Ever have back pain? Ever want to be a good or evil doctor? This is your chance. This project done through funding by CHRT aims to expose many of the myths about back pain and to educate general practitioners on best practices. Players can choose to join a “good” clinic or an “evil” clinic. Their …

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