Games for Health Conference to showcase twenty companies at HX360, HIMSS Annual Conference


 HX360™ Games for Health Showcase at HIMSS15 

The HX360™ Games for Health showcase highlights the usage of videogames and video-game technologies to improve health and healthcare from a provider and patient perspective. Created in partnership with the Games for Health Project, this interactive, hands-on area on the HIMSS15 show floor represents the increasing role videogames and gamification are having in healthcare today.

Your participation in this dynamic and interactive exhibit area will inform and demonstrate how healthcare providers and organizations can use game technologies as part of a strategic approach in healthcare delivery.

Sponsorship includes:

  • Recognition as Games for Health Sponsor in all pre-event marketing materials, website and email campaigns
  • Recognition as Games for Health Sponsor on onsite signage
  • Participation in one (1) session (25 minutes) on Presentation Zone stage (topic and speakers to be approved)
  • Two (2) complimentary Full Access registrations for HX360 event
  • Personalized Discount Code for $100 off HX360 Full Access registration for customers or constituents for distribution as desired
  • Interactive display for attendee use of videogame technology

Individual company kiosks in the area are also available for those wanting a turnkey environment to showcase videogame technologies, products, and solutions for healthcare to the HX360 and HIMSS Annual Conference audience.

Pre-configured kiosk includes carpeting, electrical, Internet and logo/graphics on kiosk backdrop, as well as:

  • Two (2) Full Access registrations for HX360 event/exhibit floor
  • Listing in HX360 official program guide
  • Listing on HX360 website with link to website

For more information on Games for Health sponsorship or exhibit opportunities, contact Beth Bryant

HX360 is a co-developed initiative between two of the most cutting-edge organizations in healthcare:

Games for Health Conference 2014

Games for Health Conference 2014 is coming June 18-20 in Boston.


Our Schedule is now up on

Conference details

Some speaking spots are still open if you submit now!

We’re making a number of changes to this year’s program and will be opening registration shortly.

Key changes:

* Exhibits vs. case studies : As the games for health field moves more toward seeing more finished, deployable projects and entrepreneurial activity we’re creating a larger exhibit space and encouraging talks that were previously case studies and demos of games to be available in hands-on demos in our exhibits area.  This will foster more face-time with attendees, and provide a platform for projects and companies to move beyond a small 20 minute demo of their efforts.

* More tutorials & briefings : We’re adding more tutorial sessions on design, production, and emerging fields.  We’ve got some interesting surprises here to announce later in March but there will be opportunities to try new tools for building and prototyping exercise and nutrition games, and a set of standard briefings on the field, market, and funding opportunities in games for health.

* Additional conversational roundtables : Games for Health Conference has always been a great forum for networking and discussion, but we’re shifting more of our sessions to support the peer-to-peer conversations needed to foster increased collaborations and community building.

* Sunsetting : In our re-design we’ve decided to sunset our specific days on accessibility and medical modeling & simulation.  We plan to move LudicaMedica to a new event later in 2014, and we’ll feature the best content on learning and training with games in our main program.  Accessibility elements will also move to our roundtable sessions, and we’re looking at new ways to continue to support the needs, and cause of games accessibility.

* Games for Global Health : We’re planning our second year with a specific day on games for global health.  We want to continue to explore the opportunities for games for health to build on the explosive growth of mobile platforms in emerging markets.

* Out & About: Mobile Serious Games Day : This event will also return, but we’re looking to merge it with previous efforts exploring sensor games, to devote more time to the unique platforms, and opportunities being created by the growing wearable computing field.

Join us at mHealth Summit 2013!

mHealth Summit 2014

mHealth Summit 2014

Come join us from December 8th-11th at the the 5th Annual mHealth Summit 2013! Presented by HIMSS Media, the mHealth Summit is the largest mobile health event in the world. With over 5,500 attendees annually, the mHealth Summit is where healthcare and technology leaders gather to improve health outcomes through wireless and technological intervention.

You can register HERE today, and use our GFH13 discount code to receive $75.00 off your total purchase!

On December 11th from 1-6pm, we will be hosting a Games for Health workshop where we will talk about the the Games for Health Project and gaming in the public health space. We will also have a pavilion with 8-10 various developers so we encourage everyone to come and join us for this thrilling 4-day event.  We will provide a list of the individuals in our pavilion for you to look at. We hope to see you there!

  • Michael Ferguson, Ayogo.  The application of game psychology to increase patient self-care.
  • Lily Chou,  A Voice in the Garden.  A therapeutic game that helps with the production of speech.
  • Shell Games, Jill Sciulli.  A fullservice and transformative game development firm presents mobile health related work.
  • Rob Peagler, The Action Mill.  My Gift of Grace, a game to help people talk about life and death issues.

Sessions for Games for Health 2013

Many more sessions are coming, but here is the first draft of content we’re going to have at this year’s Games for Health Conference including our first announced keynote!

Stay tuned for more announcements and additional information over the next two weeks as we finalize all three days of Games for Health 2013.

First Announced Keynotes!

Healing and Health with Virtual Reality
Palmer Luckey, Founder Oculus VR

For years, developers have strived to make immersive virtual worlds, and gamers have spent countless billions on the systems that play them best. Software, hardware, and input devices have all leapt forward, but the connection between the player and the virtual world has remained limited.

We’ve dreamed of stepping inside of our games, but the best we’ve been able to do is puppet characters through a tiny window! Until now. Technological progress in a variety of fields has finally brought immersive virtual reality within reach.

During this keynote, Oculus VR founder, and designer of the Oculus Rift VR headset, Palmer Luckey will talk about the intersection of body, mind, and virtual reality, and offer insights into how this new game technology can make a positive impact on the health of people and communities.

How a Mobile Game (and Zombies!)
Got 500,000 People Running for Their Lives!

Six to Start and author Naomi Alderman combine the emotional power of world-class storytelling with next-generation media to make unforgettable games and experiences.

Arguably the best mobile exergame to date, Zombies, Run! has sold over 400,000 copies and has seen fans of the game from around the world use it as a key part of their outdoor and indoor exercise routine.

This Keynote presentation by members of Six to Start’s Zombies, Run! team will delve into the inside story of the game’s development. From its successful Kickstarter debut to its current bestselling status on leading mobile platforms, you’ll get it all – with zombies included.

Over 40 additional sessions are also now posted online including…

Games for Autism: Therapy and Diagnosis

This session combines two talks orientated around opportunities with games for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Talk 1: Access Granted: Exploring Video Games as a Therapeutic Tool for Children with Autism

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting approximately 1 in 88 individuals in the United States. General characteristics of ASD include deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication, social interaction, and restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests. Regardless of ASD symptoms, research indicates that individuals with this disorder prefer to engage with activities they find interesting and motivating.

During this talk research and findings will be presented developed by exploring both how and why individuals with ASD choose and interact with technology, especially popular media such as video games and the perceptions of their parents about games and related technologies. Attendees to this session will gain insight on how, and why games might be effective for children with Autism and the best paths to successfully addressing Autism populations with games.

Talk 2: Assessing Play: Using Games To Diagnose Autism

This talk looks at how a game-based solution of interactive social challenges can help to possibly replace or augment existing clinical methods for childhood diagnosis of Autism with a game-based solution.

The psychological and psychiatric clinicians have been the driving force behind our game because they are frustrated by the lack of ecological validity in the most widely used interview-based methodologies. Time and again, parents doubt that the answers children provided when presented with oral descriptions of social situations are accurately representative of what they have seen those children do in similar situations in real life.

This presentation will showcase a system that weaves assessment into a game environment and will include discussions of how it was tailored to different environments and for addressing social information processing issues like those faced by children on the Autism spectrum. Also included will describe preliminary clinical results gathered in early 2013 as this game is shared with both ASD and Typically Developing Children.

Games for a New Climate: An International Collaboration in Research and Design

Is play an effective vehicle for preparing for climate change? Can games be part of long-term strategies for better organizing volunteer-driven organizations? Do academic-driven research methods lead to field-ready tools? Over the last four years, Parsons The New School for Design’s PETLab has collaborated with the American Red Cross and the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre to explore these and other questions.

Games for a New Climate has produced games with ambitious goals: prepare communities at risk due to changes in the local climate; assist the Red Cross staff in training its volunteers; and help individuals and communities better forecast and plan for potential problems, including the implications of climate change on public health. John Sharp, PETLab’s co-director, will discuss the games the project has produced, the methodologies used for developing the games, and the successes and shortcomings of the project thus far.

New ideas for Pervasive Exergaming

Exergaming is a stalwart genre in commercial game circles now. Extensions into schools have become regular forays of companies often as adjuncts to P.E. class curriculums. Despite all the activity there remains a large gap between the capabilities and sales of exergames as a commercial category and their scaled and applicable uses in organizations such as schools, and even enterprises.

This session gathers two projects and a leading researcher together to explore new concepts in exergaming. Pervasive exergaming imagines a world where the distance between any one user and a beneficial exergaming experience is reduced to 0. There is no major equipment to be secured. Experiences are tied together across modalities and locations and the gamut of activities and presentations moves beyond just a fitness oriented dipiction.

Attendees to this session will get an overview of where exergaming stands today and what sorts of new trends may be signaling innovation and opportunities to reduce the barriers to exergaming reaching its potential. This review will then give way to presentations by two projects that are looking to break exergaming into new forms and platforms.

HealthTeacher is using purposely simple game concepts delivered over the Web to classrooms to create easily deployable movement games into schools that can be played outside distinct periods of P.E.

Fitness Interactive eXperience is creating a browser based experience that acts as a delivery platform of exergame experiences to end users across multiple population types to become a system that could stitch together many distinct forms of exergaming together.

What We’ve Learned From Casual Games and Where We’re Going With Defense Games

Featuring six years of data collection from ongoing studies on the effects of casual video games on depression, anxiety and cognition, this presentation provides an overview of research at East Carolina University’s Psychophysiology Lab that has been compiling evidence of the positive effects of casual video games on health.

Emphasis will be placed upon the usefulness of casual video games in ameliorating symptoms of physical and mental conditions as well as in improving overall cognitive function/performance. Data from several recently completed studies using physiological and biochemical markers will be presented.

The session will also discuss a new Department of Defense funded projects involving naturalistic games for assessment, intervention and evaluation using mobile platforms.

Attendees will learn about current neurological theories and research findings on the positive effects on stress, mood and cognition, hear a discussion about the practical applications for video games with positive health effects, and discuss the use of naturalistic games for assessment industry.

Virulent & Progenator X : Using Games to Explore the Science of Biology & Health

The University of Wisconsin’s Games, Learning, and Society Lab (GLS) has created and distributed several games that focus on explaining key biological concepts to the public-at-large. This session features demonstrations of those projects, how they came to be, and what was learned by creating and releasing them.

Two Board Games for Health : Monster Appetite & Aligning Forces 4 Quality

Increasingly we are seeing game designers move back and forth between paper and electronic forms and cross-pollinating ideas between the two modalities. While Games for Health focuses heavily on computer-game based projects this session looks at two recently developed board games designed to address issues in health & healthcare.

Monster Appetite addresses the obesity epidemic, one of America’s largest public health challenges, now growing in the rest of the world.

In light of efforts to combat the obesity epidemic, Monster Appetite (MA) is a
game that potentially remediates some aspects of the concern by promoting awareness of the content of food typically consumed by children.

The Aligning Forces For Quality game is a new game project focusing on how to help groups seeking to improve healthcare quality across many regions of the country. The project is a collaboration between Dartmouth College’s Tiltfactor Lab, Digitalmill, and The Robert Wood Johnson Foundations Aligning Forces for Quality National Program.

In each case presenters will discuss the design work involved in each game and how it is being rolled out to their target communities. Discussion about how the ideas might translate into computerized forms and whether such ideas provide useful advantages (or not) will also take place.

Frontline Implementation with Clinicians: Lessons from Zamzee

Zamzee is a research-proven Health Game that increases tweens’ physical activity. A six-month randomized clinical trial in 2012 by HopeLab Foundation showed that tweens using Zamzee were 59% more physically active then a control group.

Today pediatricians across the country use Zamzee Programs in primary care practices and weight management clinics to measure and motivate tween physical activity.

Learn how Zamzee developed programs to partner with healthcare providers and tackle the challenges of patient attrition, limited funding, over-scheduled doctors and sedentary behavior.

Finding a Revenue Stream in the Physical Therapy Gaming Business: Third Time’s a Charm

Physical therapy and related sensorimotor rehab games are often held up as one of the no-brainer business opportunities in the Games for Health field. Current rehabilitation protocols are often seen as repetitive and lacking in feedback or visual stimulation, resulting in low patient compliance. The drive to augment these activities through new technologies such as the Microsoft Kinect™, Sony Move, or Nintendo® Wii™ is clear to anyone who has looked at the many pilot projects built over the last several years.

Why then is there not a thriving commercial market for such games?

CSMi has been involved in the Physical Therapy and Athletic Training markets for many years and has recently begun building specific game-based product offerings. During this talk we’ll move beyond the topic of building better games and discuss developing sustainable business models for game-based therapy products.

The Sensorimotor Rehab and PT game market offers important lessons for developers looking at many different types of health & business opportunities with games. Come hear how one company has taken several runs and evolved its approach to turning game-based health interventions into new opportunities for patients, providers, and makers alike.

Designing Games for Chronic Disease Management : What we’ve learned

Helping a patient with chronic disease issues is one of the biggest challenges facing healthcare today. Roughly 50% of patients are failing to properly manage their health care, and lifestyle compliance hovers below 30%. Where are the magic levers of adherence and self efficacy that can drive change of often daily activities? Finding these levers is necessary if we are to reverse skyrocketing healthcare costs related to chronic disease.

Ayogo has learned that the psychology of games and play can be employed specifically to address the challenge of chronic disease management. To date they’ve prototyped or developed eleven games and applications that support patients with chronic disease.

This talk is designed to share the do’s and don’ts compiled while designing projects for leading health, pharma, and patient-related organizations. Drawing from the progression of Ayogo efforts like Healthseeker, attendees will gain the insight that often can’t be shared until you’ve been through the trials, errors, fires, and successes of multiple projects.

Revisioning Re-Mission

In 2013 HopeLab is releasing Re-Mission 2, the follow-up to the groundbreaking 2006 video game for young people fighting cancer. Learn how brain science, an unconventional development model and candid feedback from young cancer patients led to this next-generation health game.

Playforward: A Post-Mortem Panel of Designers, Developers & Researchers

PlayForward: Elm City Stories is an iPad-based game designed to help youth at-risk for HIV and STD infections.  The game was produced over the course of a 18 month period and is now completed and in the course of a randomize clinical trial with after-school youth in New Haven, CT.

The game is designed to integrate risk reduction skills with social learning narratives with the hope that the acqusition of skills, practicing of behaviors, and exposure to important narratives can help youth better negotiate risky situations related to early sexual activity.  Such risks can include early drug and alcohol use, poor STD knowledge and preparedness, blind risk taking, and more.

PlayForward’s design process was extremely rigorous and involved multiple designers, developers, and researchers working together as a team to produce a game that has over 1000 individual pieces of content organized across four mini-game sections, a large-scale narrative structure, and an aspirational avatar model designed to improve self-esteem and longitudinal life orientation.

During this session members of the PlayForward design, research, and development team will gather for a frank and open discussion of the game’s development, covering the beginning, middle, and completion focusing on both the high-points, low-points, and still active wishlists that all games have when completed.

During the post-mortem conversation hundreds of slides will cycle behind the team providing a glimpse into some of the game’s early artwork tests, content trials, and even some of the best emails, and memo highlights that will be taken from an trove of over 1000+ pages of content the team is currently cataloguing for future archiving.

Attendees will see a major game for health effort laid bare, learn tips and tricks that only get learned from the crucible of actual development.  You will have a chance to get a sense of the creativity and sacrifices needed to build a health behavior game from scratch that comprises over 12 hours of gameplay built on a tight budget.

“Pocket Ritual” – Developing A Phone App For Self-Exploration Based On The Hero’s Journey

“Self-directed play can get us in touch with our inner truth. If we follow our internal play-compass, it points the way to an authentic life, or what Joseph Campbell calls “bliss”. Free play, however, does not come easily to adults. If one is out-of-touch with oneself, one does not know where to start. In games, play is guided by rules. But usually games are about a specific, pre-defined idea.

This presentation focuses on the design of “Pocket Ritual”, a windows phone app for self-exploration, which addresses this issue. “Pocket Ritual” is a ludic framework that leverages the potential of free play for self-discovery, while providing a structure to guide it. At its center are 12 card categories, corresponding to the 12 steps of the hero’s journey. Each morning, the app randomly suggests cards within these 12 categories for players to build a hand and play throughout the day. Cards contain evocative questions for contemplation that refer to a stage on the journey. E.g. a card that belongs to the “mentor” stage might ask about supportive / admirable qualities in people (dead or alive) that you would like to be your mentors. Players can decide to accept or skip cards. Playing a card is accompanied by uploading a picture and adjective that represent the player’s emotional associations with the card. This process constructs the “Journey Landscape”. Each card category has a corresponding landscape tile (e.g. “ordinary world”; “threshold”; “inmost cave”). Playing cards transforms their associated landscape tiles, creating unique journeys that further invite reflection: if the pictures and adjectives associated with the “Threshold” are fearful or hesitant, this will be reflected in the audio-visual representation of the “Threshold” part of the journey.

The goal of this presentation on “Pocket Ritual” is to provide a further example of, and invite a dialogue about how games and ludic applications can promote emotional health and personal development, as well as to inspire more design work in that direction. The talk will give concrete examples of how research on play, creative recovery, authentic living and positive psychology informed the design, and reflect on the issues revolving around structured vs. free play to leverage play’s potential for personal growth.

[Read more…]

A Spark for Games to Stop Teen Dating Violence


Jennifer Ann's Group

Jennifer Ann’s Group

Earlier this year it was announced that for work done by Games for Health Project co-founder, Ben Sawyer, in serious games and games for health that he will be a SxSW Dewey Award Winner. The award is given to 10 people each year by SxSW Interactive as a memory to one of the original organizers of the event, Dewey Winburne. It is used to honor people who have used technology to try and improve the lives of others.

As part of the award which he will receive on Sunday March 10 in Austin SxSW is donating $1000.00 to the charity of his choice. The decision is to donate the funds to Jennifer Ann’s Group.

Jennifer Ann’s Group holds contests to inspire people to build games to help raise awareness and combat teenage dating violence. It is a one man show at Jennifer Ann’s Group. Jennifer’s amazing father is Drew Crecente, better known in some gaming circles as the brother of well-known game journalist Brian Crecente who was editor of Kotaku and is now at Polygon. Through the Crecente’s love of vidoegames came the inspiration to use that media form and other advocacy to create a living memorial to Jennifer Ann Crecente.

In less then three years the challenge has generated 2 dozen+ games built and some have made it into app stores, and been posted online to play.

This year Jennifer Ann’s Group is launching the contest again and our goal was to use this award from SxSW to give it and the organization a boost.

We decided to use the original $1,000 award a spark, a starting off point to help raise money to sponsor the prize this year and help with operations. As such, Games for Health Project is going to match the donation. We also reached out to some of our friends and we’re happy to report that in the last 24 hours we raised an additional $3,000 in matches from Schell Games, Mary-Ann Liebert Publishing, and Child’s Play Charity.

As of this morning we’re proud to say that $5,000 is going to Jennifer Ann’s Group to support the 2013 contest!

Now here’s where you come in…

Today, February 15, 2013 is the 7th anniversary of Jennifer Ann’s death. February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

Today, as we announce this effort, we’re calling on all who follow us, who attend our events, who just care about the idea of games for health to help take this to the next level. Help Jennifer Ann’s Group and Drew Crecente prevent teen dating violence with any one or more of these three actions:

1. Build a game and enter the contest for 2013
2. Spread the word about this year’s contest. Entries can be submitted by anyone around the world 13 or older.
3. Consider making a donation to help up the prize amount and support operations. If you do let us know and we’ll track all the extra donations and report them here.

Games for Health was originally started with a few thousand dollars of funds that remained from one of the earliest serious games grants made. Today we are presenting a similar amount to Jennifer Ann’s Group sparked by an award recognizing that early work. It’s people like Drew Crecente, and innovators found in contests like this that inspire us every day.

Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) $200,000 Games to Generate Data Challenge

Developer Challenge

Our friends at Health 2.0 with support from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Aligning Forces for Quality (AF4Q) recently announced the $200,000 Games to Generate Data Challenge – a competition among technology developers to create game applications that generate useful health care quality data to improve health and health care.

Games for Health is helping support the challenge by spreading the word, helping with judging entries, and informing the design of the contest.

We encourage everyone in our community and the game development community to consider entering the competition.

What makes this challenge unique are two interesting items:

  1. The first level of entry requires no more then a great idea, explained in a simple document. You may submit your concept in PDF format, of no more than 8 pages describing the submission. The document should include a software description, a data generation description, and a community deployment approach.
  2. The Challenge focuses on generating data not just building a game on top of data. This is unique, and offers lots of interesting opportunities. How can you build a game that turns your players into data generators and gatherers? Would you just measure their own decisions? Is it a crowdsource game? The creative opportunities are wide open. In addition, don’t just think of data as numbers on a spreadsheet. Data could include places in the world, photos, Web sites, or data from sensors like pedometers just to name a few.

In this new Game Challenge, competing developers will build upon data from RWJF’s Aligning Forces initiative, County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program, and other databases to create game applications that engage patients and health providers in generating new quality data.

The Game Challenge requires participating developers to provide a means for the data generated to be directed toward health care improvement. In playing the developed game applications, participants will be competing or collaborating to improve personal health while simultaneously contributing to the overarching goal of maximizing their community’s health.

The Aligning Forces Game Challenge will be conducted in two phases. Phase one is an open ideation phase for interested developer teams to submit application concepts. In phase two, the top five developer teams from phase one will build upon their initial proposals and create working game applications. The developer of the winning game app will receive $100,000. The second place winner will receive $50,000, and the third place winner will be awarded $25,000.

Winners will be announced in September 2013 and the first place winner will present at the annual Fall Health 2.0 Conference later that month. Developers can learn more and register for the challenge at

The deadline for entry submission for phase one is February 22, 2013.

Zamzee’s New Research

Our friends over at HopeLab are cooking up their next project – particularly with their Zamzee product. For those of you unaware, Zamzee is basically a small device (which integrates into a gamified website) that kids can carry around to measure their physical activity levels and get rewards for it.

Think of it as: digital pedometer + game mechanics + online rewards shop.

With the issue of childhood obesity and declining physical activity among young people continuing to be an important issue, tools and technologies have emerged over the past few years to provide solutions. As with anything new/innovative, the question of effectiveness quickly comes to the surface – especially in the burgeoning health gaming landscape. Well, the Zamzee team aims to shed light on how they are making a difference.

Yesterday, Zamzee released the result of a study they conducted over six months which sampled 448 middle school aged youth from urban to rural environments across the country. 50% of the participants used the Zamzee tool and its accompanying website database, which allows kids to view their activity levels, earn points for movement, achieve goals, and select rewards – all helping to motivate them to increased activity. The other half of participants in the control group received the  Zamzee activity meter but had no access to the motivational website.

The kids using the Zamzee activity meter and the website showed a 59% increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). Other results included a 102% increase in MVPA demonstrated with girls. Participants who consistently used Zamzee also showed improved blood sugar control (HbA1c), a risk factor for type 2 diabetes.

In a world where too much technology is being blamed for the increase in sedentary lifestyles for youth, HopeLab and Zamzee aim to show that it can be helpful in reversing some of these adverse trends. “These results also show that Zamzee can increase physical activity enough to improve some of the key biological processes that underlie the long-term disease risks associated with a sedentary lifestyle”, says Steve Cole, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development at HopeLab and Professor of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles

“As more and more people discover Zamzee, we consistently hear from kids and families that it’s a fun, engaging way to make physical activity a regular part of their daily lives,” said Lance Henderson, CEO of Zamzee. “These new data show that Zamzee is also an effective way to improve health, which is inspiring to us and our partners as we work to put Zamzee into the hands of kids and families across the U.S.”

Games for Health Europe 2012

November 5th & 6th 2012, Amsterdam

Games for Health Europe 2012 is the second annual conference that will make the gamers work hard for their HP and the doctors to gain some extra XP! The conference’s aim is bringing together medical professionals, game designers, business executive, angels, visionaries and dreamers under one roof. The event is the official sister organization of Boston’s Games for Health conference, which celebrated it’s 8th anniversary this year.

For more on the conference visit

To register directly visit:

This year’s focus is on emerging new technologies, especially the proliferation of mobile devices and gamification methodologies. Among the first confirmed keynotes speakers you will find:

– Bill Crounse, MD, Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft Corporation
– Martin De Ronde, Vanguard Games, Co-Founder Guerrilla Games (Killzone)
– Ben Sawyer, Co-Founder of the Serious Games initiative and Games for Health Boston.

Future of Health Award: Win €200,000 in 5 minutes
Develop your own dream health game simply by convincing a jury with a 5-minute elevator pitch. We are proudly bringing back our game-changing, gamer-friendly, health-game promoting – well – game. Together with leading insurer CZ and TEDxMaastricht, we will grant you the ability to heal the world playfully – if your idea is good enough. Read more!

Limited Health Games Workshop hosted by Ben Sawyer
This year we’re offering something special for the practically minded among you: Game designer Ben Sawyer (whose name is practically synonymous with serious games) will host a small pre-conference workshop on recent developments in the serious and health game development world. Space is limited and priority will be given to early conference registrants.

The Games for Health Project is organizing sessions and roundtable discussions focused on our “Health Games for Everyone” effort which is focused on buttressing the creation of games for health products and categories that can be played by anyone regardless of their underlying health condition and result in improved health for individuals and those around them.


What’s Your Game Prescription?

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In 2009, the current Chief Creative Officer of Electronic Arts <A href=”; target=”_blank”>Rich Hilleman</A> was asked, “What game are you most jealous of?”

His answer?

“Brain Age. I would like to be in a business where my game is prescribed by doctors – like Bayer Aspirin was to my dad after his stroke. This is how you impact the world (and the bank account).”

<A HREF=”; target=”_blank”>See Citation Link</A>

That answer has stuck with me for some time. Having a health care provider instruct their patients to play video games to improve their health would be a sign that games have arrived.

A prescription is much more than just an endorsement. It’s the assessment of a need and the placement of a solution in a situated context relevant to the target of the prescription. It’s about why to play them, when to play them, dosage levels, and more. Prescribing a video game isn’t just “go play some DDR.” It’s more like, “DDR three times a week on level 3, for 30 minutes a time, for 20 weeks, to help improve bone density.”

Today we want to pursue a thought exercise inspired by Mr. Hilleman’s 2009 interview. We call this “<a href=”; title=”What’s Your Game Prescription?”>What’s Your Game Prescription?</a>” It’s your chance to envision a moment in the future, when some health professional writes you or someone you care for a prescription to play a video game to improve a specific component of your health.

Many of us aspire towards a day when health professionals are at ease to integrate games into their everyday recommendations. By thinking about that ideal future now and thinking backwards from it, we are provided with the ability to better identify the right paths, the best targets, and the important work that’s needed to make your game prescription a reality.

<A HREF=””>So join us in this effort, share your thoughts and help envision this future.</A>

Pioneers, Promise, Possibilities: Fitting Together Videogames & Health

In February 2011 Paul Tarini, senior program officer of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio, presented a talk at the <a href=””>25th Annual Game Developers Conference</a>. This important talk focused on the changing nature of health and the changing nature of the games for the health field. An adapted form of that speech is presented here in full-length article form and was included in our 2011 Games for Health Program Guide.

With the upcoming <a href=””>conference in June of 2012</a> we wanted to make sure we’d posted a version up on our site for you to read as the ideas it contains are still very much a big part of what’s in store for this year’s event and other activities the Games for Health Project is undertaking this year and beyond.

<a href=””>Download the PDF Here…</a>


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