Friday, May 16, 2008

4th Annual Games for Health

5-7-08: The following week, I ended up in Baltimore for the 4th annual Games for Health conf. After a hiatus last year, this was the biggest and best yet, G4H we've ever had. It was the first time to be hosted in the convention center. Over 300 attendees were there!

I had the privilege of not only speaking at this conf., but also helping Ben Sawyer and Beth Bryant with planning months before. It was great working with them, and I look forward to collaborating with them on future G4H events.

Here's are some shots from my experience. As soon as it becomes available, I'll post the URL for a video of the "Day at the G4H" through an attendee's eyes (guess who's!). This will be posted on the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation's website.

Wed., May 7: There was a pre-conf. consisting of 2 sessions: one on Virtual Worlds and the other on Disabilities and Gaming. I hopped back and forth, but spent most of my time in the disabilities session.

Here are two up-and-coming researchers in the rehab gaming world, Drs. Belinda Lange (right) and Sheryl Flynn. They are doing some amazing hardware and game development for rehab, such as stroke rehab, under Dr. Skip Rizzo, at USC.

Two more exergaming researchers. Dr. John (right), from Cortland (NY) does research focusing on visual impairment and gaming, while Dr. Alasdair Thin (yes, Dr. Thin!) is an exercise physiologist ("I know what exercise is.") all the way from Scotland who focuses on exergaming research. He was one of the first to do research on the Wii Fit when it came out in Europe, getting one of the first ones and doing tests on it within the hour of purchasing it!

Dr. Michelle Hinn is the chairperson for the Game Accessibility Group, part of the Int. Game Developers Assoc (IGDA), and was the moderator for this session.

Dr. Steve Yang, also of Cortland, is also an exergaming researcher and has presented his research at numerous conferences.

And so ended the first day before the Games for Health conf. started....

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