Point Zero: from indie games to treating cancer

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For those of you who haven’t visited BizDojo’s greener pastures down in Wellington (haha) it’s about time you did. The Wellington culture lends itself to a vibrant, bustling and well connected hub for innovation and technology, and we are lucky enough to host some of the coolest startups in our space!

One such team, Point Zero (formally known as One Legged Crab) was started by Chris Mather and Ryan Loader who met at University and went on to make it through Victoria’s Entrepreneur Bootcamp (another initiative we host out of our space). Their first year of work resulted in one game and earned them “a grand total of $11”, (“I wonder if it has earned more money now”?). They then set about a new tact of developing a new game every week. One of these; Boy Goes to Space was a wild success on the indie game sharing website Playism. They got somewhat of a cult following after showcasing at PAX Australia last year and have come a long way from developing short and poppy leisure games to one of their most current projects; developing educating and informing digital experiences that will help shape the course of medical marketing.

So what do pharmaceutical companies and game developers have in common? That may be a hard one, but both use cutting edge technology to stay at the top of their game. One of Point Zero’s current projects has them developing a way to allow their clients to demonstrate the complex aspects of how their new technologies and medicines work. They translate complex human physiological and therapeutic mechanisms into high quality, scientifically accurate, highly memorable immersive 3D experiences.

Still lost? Point Zero is in partnership with Genulin (another BizDojo Wellington resident) and The Malaghan Institute of Medical Technology, to create the very real experience of seeing how a medicine or treatment affects your body at a cellular and molecular level by using Virtual Reality. The idea is to be able to witness exactly what a new treatment will do to combat an illness, i.e those watching through a virtual reality experience with Oculus can dive into the human body and observe how a new pharmaceutical is working to treat cancer; visually.

Virtual reality allows you to interact with the concept, they can zoom in to a cellular level where the user can explore and even influence their environment. The experience lets you travel down blood vessels and through important processes in the human body. For example; “a monoclonal antibody can be shown attaching itself to a receptor on a specific type of cancer cell and how it then causes the cell to be targeted by other elements of the immune system”. Did that make any sense? Well now imagine you are watching it through an Oculus Rift! Virtual Reality has changed the face of gaming and now gamers are changing the face of medical technology.

For the sake of brevity I won’t harp on about the other technologies they are developing, but these boys are definitely ones to watch.

As a side note, would you like to win a Samsung Galazy 6? Download the game Point Zero developed for Victoria University “Victoria Balloon Blitz”, get yourself on the leaderboard and every month you will have a chance to win a shiny new phone. While you are at it go and check out Pogo Sheep (my current favourite time wasting activity).

Georgia is the Community & Communications Co-ordinator at Bizdojo Wellington. You can follow her (and the rest of the teams adventures) on Twitter.