Games for Health

Advancing Wellbeing Seminar Series

Speaker: Ben Sawyer
Speaker Affiliation: Digitalmill
Date: 11/5/2014

Computer and videogames for many years has been an island of technology and design innovation largely left to itself as it morphed from a cottage business into a global media and software industry. While there have been pockets of derivative activity related to games and game technology only in the last half-dozen years has there been a real movement toward exploiting this industry in many new and exciting ways.

Today the general use of games and game technologies for purposes beyond entertainment is collectively referred to as serious games. The Serious Games Initiative was formed in 2002 and since its inception has been among a number of critical efforts that has helped open up the world and many disciplines to the ideas and innovations that may be sourced from the commercial, independent, and academic game fields. This has been a person-by-person, project-by-project effort that not only has informed us about the potential of games but also in how you merge innovation and innovators from one discipline with those in another.

In this talk we will explore the total gamut of the serious games field identifying past the obvious how games and game technologies are being applied to problems in a wide array of areas including healthcare, productivity, visualization, science, and of course training and education. Once a proper definition of serious games is established the talk will focus on the current state of the field as it relates to research and infrastructure issues that are needed to make the difference between seeing serious games take hold as a major new practice or having it devolve into another trend of the moment lost to history.

More talks in this series can be found online at:http://wellbeing.media.mit.edu

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