Health IT! Enterprising Approaches to Combining Health and Games
Jane McGonigal (Social Chocolate), Rajiv Kumar (ShapeUp) and Brian Krejcarek (GreenGoose)
At GDC 2011, Paul Tarini of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation issued a challenge to the game development community: Create games that will give players "Super Mario Health." In other words: Help players collect real power-ups that will make them resilient to any illness or injury. Give them allies who can help in their battles against disease or depression. Send them on adventures that build up their ability to face any personal obstacle with curiosity, motivation and determination. Or just make people feel better and smile...
This session looks at three projects that are doing just that, leading the way for games to become the first-line of defense for individual and organizational health.
First up is an update on Jane McGonigal's SuperBetter, an online game with a mobile app designed to build SuperMario Health with four kinds of resilience: physical, mental, emotional and social. In this quickfire talk, you'll hear insights from a user-driven development process based on user-tests in both clinical and organizational settings -- from Ohio State University's hospital to Zappos Corporation.
Next up is ShapeUp, an exciting startup in the field of employee wellness that uses social networking, gaming and incentives to improve health. ShapeUp's social games promote physical activity, healthy eating, and weight loss among employees of large corporations and members of health plans. The company has expanded rapidly over 5 years, now covering 2 million people in 93 countries and working with clients like Aetna, HP, Cleveland Clinic, and Sprint who are using games to improve the health of their populations.