Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wrap-up of the 7th Games for Health conf....

5-26-11: Whew! The 7th Annual Games for Health Conf. is now history. And what a conference it was! This was, by far, the best conf. for me personally, on so many levels. Great people, networking, all the sessions, expo tent, new products, after-hour socials, kicking off mobile Adventure Walks and NAGL...the list could go on and on. Even the rainy overcast weather couldn't dampen the excitement that ran through the conference, at least for me.

Maybe it was because I was so dang busy! LOL! Besides kicking off and promoting 2 new start-ups with friends there, I had 2 presentations and was on Team 5METS in competition with a team of young hotshot developers from UC Berkeley, led by just-graduated Ann Beaver and friends. (Ok, we lost, but we did our best and they were great sports. Next year, we'll be sure to take our Ben Gay and Geritol to better our chances! LOL!)

Kudos to Ben Sawyer and Beth Bryant for all their hard work in organizing and putting this conference on. (Hope Beth is enjoying her new MacAir that she received Wed. night for her b-day!) Also great job by Ed Kasanders and Parker Johnson (Motion Fitness) for organizing and running the exergame expo tent. The times that I was there, it was quite busy and people were playing the games and getting involved. (Special thanks for allowing MedPlay Tech's newest employee, Elena Butoiu, to work and train under your guidance. She learned a lot in this intensive exergaming experience!)

I'm going to try and highlight some key things here for me. I've included links below for other wrap ups (as I get them), URLs to pictures, and where you can find the presentations.

If you want to feel like you were there, check out the tweet thread by searching for #g4h11 and see what many of us were tweeting during the conference!

Let me start by talking about some cool innovative stuff I found there that I think you might be interested in:

1. Zamzee - We've been hearing about this HopeLab initiative for a few years now. Well it's about to come to fruition this summer! Check out their website! For those who don't know, this is a kid-friendly accelerometer that is connected with an online incentive reward program. Take more steps, earn more Zamzee points to get prizes!

2. S2H - Here's another accelerometer-based incentive reward system for all ages. I'm wearing the wrist band now and for every 60 mins. of activity, I enter in a code that will help me accrue points which I can use to get prize. Available now.

3. mobile Adventure Walks - We did a demo walk on the Back Bay and it was a blast, even in the rain! Looking for clues and solving the riddles makes this walking app more appealing and inviting. It's not just another tracking device! Sign up for updates at the website, this free app will be available this summer.

4. NAGL - The National Active Gaming League kicked off here at G4H. Still in construction, this league for "active gaming athletes" will provide structure and training to those wanting to be involved on a team and go to competitions and meets. Learn more about this and how you can get involved at our website (a HUGE thanks to Tommy Seilheimer for getting our website up and running the week before the conf!) A drawing for a Xavix Tennis system is still going on today so sign up for our e-newsletter today! (Another huge thanks to SSD's Peter Newman for being the first official NAGL sponsor with this donation!)

5. Positive Psychology - I wasn't expecting to learn something on psychology, but one of the key notes, Dr. Martin Seligman, who is the "father of positive psychology", was awesome! You may be wondering how this relates to games for health...well you'll just have to get his book, "Flourish", and find out! Here's a clue: Jane McGonical is mentioned in the book, so he definitely talks about video games. I bought his book there, he signed it, and I started reading it on the flight home. It's amazing and a must-read! I even ordered one for a friend who was there but missed his talk. You can also go to his website and learn more about positive psychology, take any of his assessment tests for free, etc. Great call by Ben and Beth for being able to get him to speak!

5. President's Council on Sports, Nutrition, and Fitness - While there were many excellent sessions on a wide variety of topics, one that stands out in my mind is the session by PCSNF Exec. Dir. Shellie Pohfl. She talked about how "active gaming" can be used as a tool for increasing movement and physical activity, and that she looks forward to integrating and collaborating more with the active gaming community! Great to have that kind of support from the federal level. Next stop: Let's Move!!!

Motion Fitness's wrap up
TEN blog

PIXS (these are mine from Facebook albums)
Pre-conf (mobile track)
Day 1
Day 2

PRESENTATIONS, search "Games for Health 2011"
TEN presentation

If you have links to more pictures, video clips, wrap-ups, presentations, etc., feel free to e-mail them to me so I can add them to this blog.

Enjoy! Already looking forward to Games for Health 2012! Be sure to save the date: June 6-8, 2012, Boston, MA, Hyatt Harborside.


Tommylandz said...
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Tommylandz said...

WOW what a great article Ernie! Im excited to get the NAGL exposed to the masses! What a great concept and something kids need today! Thanks for the Thanks!