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Second Annual Games for Health Conference Set for Baltimore, MD September 22-23, 2005

Cross-section of researchers, professionals, and game developers coming together to explore videogame-based innovation in health and healthcare.

August 11, 2005 (Portland, ME) -- Today the Games for Health Project announced the final program for its Second Annual Games for Health Conference. The conference will take place September 22-23, 2005 at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in downtown Baltimore.

The Games for Health Conference brings together health and healthcare professionals, game developers, academic researchers, and consultants to explore how videogames, related technologies, and game developers are driving new breakthroughs in health and healthcare. Attendees will experience two days of panel discussions, roundtables, and a demo exposition showcasing more then 20 different projects in the emerging games for health field.

"Last year we showed the world there is exciting work being down to apply the motivational, educational, and graphical power of videogames to improving public health. This meeting gives us the opportunity to look at how far things have come in only a year. Some of the next-generation projects will be exciting in terms of their potential to change how patients and healthcare professionals practice healthcare" said Ben Sawyer co-director of the Games for Health Project.

The videogame industry is moving beyond entertainment to address a wide range of public and private policy, leadership, and management issues; as a result, the self-titled "serious games" field is exploding with work. Within this overall genre of games lies a specific set of projects focusing on health and healthcare. The Games for Health Project, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is designed to foster the development of health-focused, video game-related projects. By developing and promoting best practices, bringing together novel communities of interest, and supporting innovation in healthcare training, health messaging, and disease management, the Project is supporting nurturing this dynamic field. The Games for Health Conference is a key forum for advancing these goals.

"Games for Health demonstrates how we can tap into an emerging medium, like video games, to explore creative new approaches to addressing complex health and health care challenges," said Chinwe Onyekere, program associate for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "The Foundation is proud to support this initiative through its Pioneer Portfolio, which is dedicated to supporting innovative projects like this that could lead to major breakthroughs in improving health and health care."

Registration Information

Registration is $200.00 until 8/15/05 and $300.00 until 9/18/05, when the price will be $500.00 per registrant - space permitting. To register on the Web or see the most current program, prospective attendees may visit:

2005 Games for Health Conference Highlights

In partnership with the University of Maryland School of Medicine

and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development

Games for Health will feature case studies, a demo expo, research, lectures, panels, and discussions covering a wide range of topics and projects.

Key highlights include:

  • A presentation from Pulse!! -- a multi-million dollar federally funded project creating a next generation 3D platform for healthcare learning.
  • A demonstration of a trauma care trainer developed in the U.K., which also includes a look at the human factors research supporting the development of this project for Britain's Ministry of Defence.
  • A lecture about the experiences of the Health Media Lab, which has used games to teach nutrition and first-aid to young learners.
  • The story of constructing Ben's Game, a Make-A-Wish Foundation effort that games the biological battle going on inside children fighting cancer.
  • A look at how advergaming may or may not play a role in the world of pharmaceutical and medical related marketing.
  • A major discussion about the current state and future possibilities of exergaming and rehabitainment projects & commercial game products.
  • A talk on Office of Naval Research-sponsored projects using game-related technologies including health therapies, and combat medic performance.
  • A panel of three major projects using massive multiplayer online technologies for training and disease visualization.
  • A look at the novel ways games are contributing to pain-distraction and patient anxiety prevention in hospitals.

About Games for Health

Games for Health is a project produced by The Serious Games Initiative, a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars effort that applies cutting edge games and game technologies to a range of public and private policy, leadership, and management issues.

The Initiative founded Games for Health to develop a community and best practices platform for the numerous games being built for health care applications. To date the project has brought together researchers, medical professionals, and game developers to share information about the impact games and game technologies can have on health care and policy.

In addition to the Games for Health conference, the Initiative is working to catalog use of games in health care, to assist current development, collect best practices, share research results, and explore ideas that might improve health care administration and policy.

About The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need-the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime. For more information, visit

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