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Computer Games – Not Just for Wasting Time!

Quite a few chapters in my high school biology textbook put me to sleep. Literally. We’re talking forehead-crashing-down-on-the-lab-table, nearly-missing-the-assembled-photosynthesis-experiment bored.

I always found interesting, however, the chapter on ABO blood typing and compatibility. Somehow the topic seemed more relevant to me than, say, osmosis or alcohol fermentation in yeast; I could easily understand the connection between the words and pictures on the pages and my real life health. Incidentally my very first blood donation, when I was 17-years-old and in high school, was motivated primarily by my desire to learn my blood type.

Last week I was skimming though the Red Cross Blood Services website, looking for a Red Cross blood drive in my area, when I came across the “Are You My Blood Type?” game. The goal of the game was to match a blood donor with a blood recipient before the time ran out. I spent a couple of minutes reviewing the chart of blood type matches, and then clicked “begin” to test my knowledge.

What I thought was a few minutes later I glanced up from the game to discover that I’d been playing for, I kid you not, 40 MINUTES. Negative: I didn’t finish the laundry or start dinner on time. Positive: I learned a great deal about blood compatibility – beyond what I’d learned from those high school biology textbooks – and was reminded of how important it is that everyone, especially those of us whose blood types are compatible with a significant number of recipients, donate blood regularly.

Click here to schedule an appointment to donate blood. If you don’t already know your blood type, the Red Cross will provide you with that information a few weeks after your donation on your blood donor card.

Click here to play the “Are You My Blood Type?” game, and click here to try out a few additional Red Cross Blood games. They’re fun, and I promise you’ll learn something along the way!

Now, back to the Red Cross Blood Services website to schedule my blood donation appointment!