During today’s #hcsmeu chat session (see archive here) I asked “Truthfully – has any of my EU colleagues actually played SYRUM?”

There’s been a lot of hype about Syrum previous to its launch by Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) in the EU (see here), but I’ve heard nothing post launch from anyone who has actually spent time playing the “game” (I’m told that it’s not a form of “gamification”).

“Who’s the EU ‘pharmaguy’ who will take on this task and report back?”, I asked.

Turns out that one person (Maria Öst, Sweden, aka @mariaatomaca) admitted she signed on to a beta account, but she didn’t actually play the game. By signing on, Maria gave Syrum (and BI) permission to “post on [her] behalf” and “read [her] checkins” even if she does not play the game (see here).

According to @fision (Kai Gait, UK) Syrum opens “lots of potential opportunity in the future by accessing the interest graph of players” — even if they don’t actually play the game (“If a user doesn’t ‘disconnect’ the game, they [BI] still have access to data in theory,” said @fision).

Felix Jackson (@felixjackson, UK, founder of medDigital) actually has played the game and said “I … enjoyed it! I liked the way it showed me drug development.” I thank Felix for taking the time to give me a live tour of the Syrum via Skype during which I saw a few peculiar things such as a masked avatar that looked like an Al Qaeda terrorist! I guess it was supposed to be a surgical mask. I’ve worked in a lab and I never saw anyone wear a mask. Maybe drug development labs are different.

One of the features of the game is that you can see friends on Facebook who have also signed on to play the game. You can “recruit” these friends to be members of your drug development team or you can collaborate with them. Unfortunately, none of Felix’s FB friends — including BI’s John Pugh — were able to collaborate with Felix because they didn’t have any molecules under development (ie, they currently are not playing the game).

Meanwhile, Helen Harrison (@harrassedmom) alerted me to this “walk through” on YouTube:

By the time you read this, one or two other people I know on Twitter may tell me that they also have played Syrum. These people, however, are mostly like me — not representative of Syrum’s target audience, which is the general public. We won’t know very much about how many of those people have signed on to play, how long they have played, etc., unless BI shares that information with us. That make take another 3 years — I’ll wait 🙂