The Games for Health Project is run by a small staff augmented by freelance help from design and communications firms around the United States.
As the Project has grown, we’ve begun recruiting contributors from among our most engaged and knowledgeable community members. These contributors lead by example of their work, their dedication to helping others in their field, and their willingness to make the time to help organize and further sub communities relative to their topic within the greater games for health field.
The Project also is beginning to recognize international contributors with our growing ambassadors program, which provides links to country and region leaders who we feel do a good job providing information about games for health efforts in their country. Once recognized as an ambassador, these leaders agree to act as conduits and connectors to activities, organizations, and individuals in their country or region for those who live elsewhere who may be looking for initial support to engage country-by-country with others in the games for health field.
Since beginning his career in game development over ten years ago, Ben Sawyer has pioneered major initiatives in the field of serious games and has become a nationally recognized leader within the games community.
For the past seven years, Sawyer has dedicated his professional life to discovering new ways to expand the use of games beyond entertainment. In 2002, he co-founded the Serious Games Initiative, a project of the U.S. Government’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The following year, Sawyer organized the first-ever Serious Games Summit – a conference which now attracts 300-500 attendees annually, who meet to share best practices in the development of serious games. The Serious Games Initiative continues to serve as one of the leading organizations in the field of serious games.
In 2004, Sawyer also co-founded the Games for Health project, an initiative which has built the primary social and professional networks of the health games industry. Through on-line resources and regular regional and national events, Games for Health connects health professionals, researchers, and game developers in order to advance the development of health games and game technologies. The Games for Health project receives major funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
As a game developer with his own firm, Digitalmill, Sawyer has worked on over two dozen major serious game projects which began in 2000, when he served as producer for the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s university simulation game, “Virtual U,” which was an award finalist at that year’s Independent Games Festival.
Prior to pursuing his professional career, Sawyer graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and studied at Baruch College. He currently resides in Freeport, Maine with his wife Olivia and their two sons (and future gamers), ages 9 and 7.
After graduating from the University of Maine with a degree in economics in 1990, Beth moved to Calfornia and put her passion for skiing to work in the marketing department at Kirkwood Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe.
Eventually, Beth moved back to Maine, working as the sales and marketing coordinator for a nationally recognized jewelry designer and at Idexx Laboratories, a leading veterinary diagnostics supplier. Today, Beth deals with all day-to-day undertakings for the Games for Health Project, and heads up conference operations for our various events each year.
Away from work, Beth splits her time between the Baltimore-DC corrider and the Greater Portland Area. She enjoys spending time with her dog Tucker, boating in Casco Bay in the summer, and skiing at Sugarloaf during the winter.