Ashoka's Changemakers Games for Health

Cognitive Labs is highlighted by Ashoka's Changemakers' mosaic....along with Dance Dance revolution, Sim City, Second Life, Re-Mission, BrainAge, Darfur is Dying, and other breakthrough games and projects. The common thread is games that promote positive change in people's lives.

From their site:

Games are an ideal way to engage people in activities that promote healthy lifestyles and tackle their health problems head-on. Accessing these activities through games can make them more attractive and effective because games are designed to be fun, easy to access, and give players a sense of control and safety that is sometimes lacking in more traditional health services and products. The field of Games for Health is at a take-off point. We present this mosaic of solutions for Games for Health at this critical time to promote such innovative approaches that improve health.

Consider what’s in a game: A strong interactive computer or video game provides a serious challenge that players must overcome to reach a goal, usually with fun and some learning along the way. At their best, games for health create experiential scenarios that channel what players learn during the game into smarter choices outside the game. Superb graphics and clever storytelling, applied to high-stakes issues such as cancer remission and natural disaster preparedness, make games for health anything but kids’ play. Though games for health are serious, they only work when they’re fun. Sometimes, they surprise you without intending to, like the calorie-burning benefits of playing Nintendo’s Wii or Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution.

Games for health, like the best social enterprises, have tremendous potential for profit and behavior change. Additional research into games for health can only prime and improve the marketplace for the next generation of ideas and products.

This mosaic highlights some important dimensions of games for health, and we hope it inspires new ideas and new research about play that improves health.

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