I see that Roxxi the Foxxi 'Bot is back in the news, with health insurer Cigna Corp. giving free copies of the game Re-Mission to young cancer patients. I've written about Re-Mission and similar games here, here and here. And above are two videos featuring the game. The one one the left is a 10-minute documentary from HopeLab on the making of the game and on the right is a TV news report.
A couple of points that I've made before need repeating.
1. Whether you believe the kind of "nanobot" depicted in this game (well, not literally, unless you want to try to shrink Raquel Welch down to nanosize and put her in a skin-tight outfit) is scientifically possible in the real world, nanobots have pervaded popular culture and are an easily recognizable symbol for the possibilities and dangers associated with nanotech. For these young cancer patients, they represent hope or, at the very least, a way to express rage against the invisible forces attacking them.
2. Those who would ban all research into nanotechnology should enter a children's cancer ward and break the news to them in person.
Here's an excerpt from the latest AP story.
Cigna offers free cancer video game (By Deborah Yao, Associated Press Writer)
Roxxi, a brunette nanobot with a blaster for a left arm, takes careful aim at a cancer cell and zaps it into oblivion.
The video game starring Roxxi aims to help young cancer patients deal with their disease by visualizing the destruction of cancerous cells.
Starting Wednesday, Philadelphia-based health insurer Cigna Corp. will be sending free copies of the game to doctors to hand out to cancer patients who want it, regardless of whether they are a Cigna customer. Patients can also get a free copy on CD or DVD by visiting http://www.cigna.com/re-mission. More here
Update (6/3/07): Re-Mission is being given credit for actually helping a 12-year-old beat cancer. Sounds like a case of "faith" healing to me, but whatever works sounds wonderful to me. There's a discussion going on at Digg (as opposed to my own Digg of a few days earlier).