You know you must be doing something interesting when you are invited to the White House. That mark of distinction for about thirty invited video game researchers, designers and developers was a February 1st White House summit on “Innovations in Games — Better Health and Healthcare.” Richard Buday FAIA represented Archimage and Playnormous. The group met with key government officials from the White House, National Institutes of Health, National Coordinator for Health IT, Centers for Disease Control, and the department of Health and Human Services. The half-day meeting focused on opportunities for serious video games to engage Americans in improving their health.
Brainstorming included the kinds of technology that could best present health information through immersion. For example, simulations are already being used to give healthcare professionals time and space to practice skills before actually treating patients. The military has been using training video games and simulators for years. Just imagine what role-playing environments could do for improving the public’s health behaviors …
Groupthink ranged from advanced technologies to consumer video game consoles. Smart phones, which make great game platforms because they are ubiquitous, powerful and can easily take advantage of social media connections, were also discussed.
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and The Institute for the Future are collaborating on drafting the summary of the summit roundtable. Look for it soon at www.iftf.org. You can read more about the White House’s exploration into possible roles of serious video games here.
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