Brigham and Women’s Hospital Launches Online Game

'What Matters For Health' launched September 28 to five Boston communities.


screenshot via Community PlanIt

Brigham and Women’s Hospital wanted feedback on how to better understand the health priorities of Boston’s neighborhoods, and now they’ve found a creative way to get it.

The hospital launched an online game for residents of Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Mission Hill, and Roxbury, to have participants be more vocal about their health needs.

The game, “What Matters For Health,” was created by Community PlanIt, a project by the Engagement Lab at Emerson College. It’s designed to make community-planning fun. Once a player registers, the challenges begin, which include questions regarding health issues in their community and how the hospital can improve to help that community’s needs. As participants answer questions, they earn coins. Throughout the game, earned coins are then allocated towards community causes such as a community garden or a walking club.

“They are competing for coins to help their community,” says Christina Wilson, project manager for Engagement Game Lab at Emerson College.

At any point during the game, a player can submit proposals for a community project. At the end of the game, the top three coin earners will receive $1,000 to put towards their proposed project.

Once “What Matters For Health” closes October 19, the hospital will use the data from the game to inform themselves on how the hospital should spend their community benefit funding over the next five years. They will also use the data to better understand what the health needs of each neighborhood are and what each community sees as a priority.

“They wanted community input to open up the conversation on what people wanted,” Wilson says.

To play, visit