Games For Health Conference Announced

An innovative conference addressing how games and game technologies can meet health care needs will be held in Madison, Wisconsin September 16-17. It will be co-sponsored by the Serious Games Initiative, the Academic Advanced Distributed Learning (ADL) Co-Lab at the University of Wisconsin System in Madison, and the Federation of American Scientists’ Learning Federation Project.

Games for Health 2004 will examine how interactive games and emerging game technologies could improve consumer health education, and professional clinical practice, including disease and injury prevention, service delivery, and professional education and training.

The conference will gather more than 100 game developers, trainers, educators, government leaders and foundation officials. The conference will highlight successful projects that can provide models for new initiatives and explore how these promising technologies can be successfully integrated into the healthcare field.

"Our goal is to boost quality development of a new generation of game-based software tools and projects that will improve the delivery, management, quality, and education of health care worldwide," said David Rejeski who heads up the Serious Games effort housed at the Wilson Center. Speakers, panels, working groups and open discussion will address the intersection of games, learning, policy, and management. A unique "Technology Showcase" will demonstrate innovative sites and applications.

Those tentatively scheduled to speak include: Brenda Wiederhold (VRPhobia.com), Debra Lieberman (University of California, Santa Barbara), Doug Whatley (Breakaway Games), Paul Wessel (Guidance Interactive Healthcare), Barbara Hayes-Roth (Extempo Systems), Barry Silverman (University of Pennsylvania), Eric Lott (Legacy Interactive), Phineas Barnes (Respondesign), David Shaffer (University of Wisconsin), Brian Winn (Michigan State University), David Rejeski (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars), Kurt Squire (University of Wisconsin), and Mary Derby (Pulluin Interactive).

"This conference fills a critical need to facilitate integration of recent research and practice from multiple disciplines in both academia and industry. Participants will see impressive examples of a wide variety of innovative applications. The conference will provide an important forum to encourage dialog and partnerships to leverage gains from one field to other fields," said Kay Howell, conference co-organizer and manager of the Learning Federation project of the FAS.

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