Imagine the skyrocketing hospital bills if you got into an accident and were not insured for healthcare.

With the creation of a new mobile app by the University of Utah Entertainment Arts & Engineering program (EAE), the uninsured don’t have to wonder what that would be like. Students in the video-game-design school created “Save Your Bacon,” a mobile game for people ages 18 to 34 years that shows what it would be like to live without health insurance. The app was developed for Salt Lake City-based Arches Health Plan.

In the game, users describe their lifestyle and then choose whether or not they want to be insured. The app then takes the person through a year as accidents occur and health care costs rise as a result of their lifestyle. The point of the app is to impress upon the game player the impact of hospital costs on their budget. Arches Health Plan also partnered with the U’s Sorenson Center for Discovery & Innovation on the creation of the game.

“We felt the EAE would be a great fit for this endeavor. The University of Utah has a long history of being a market leading developer of games, graphics, and digital entertainment. EAE has won numerous awards, and has consistently been ranked among the best video game programs in the country,” said Arches Health Plan Chief Marketing Officer Tricia McGarry-Schumann. “Working with the students directly allowed us the unique opportunity of understanding what this age group needed to hear.”

Learn more about the game