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Health, Social and Educational Gaming Events on the Radar

Social Gaming Summit LogoConferences and presentations on a number of subjects of interest to Game Forward are scheduled to take place in the next few weeks. On May 23-24, the Canadian Game Studies Association will be holding its 3rd Annual Conference (PDF). The event set at Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario will touch on community, identity and social/cultural politics in relation to digital games.

Some sessions will discuss games within educational settings, serious games, virtual worlds and health applications. The conference is held as part of the 2009 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, which takes place from May 23-31 at Carleton University. Read More...

The widely anticipated 5th annual Games for Health conference is taking place June 11-12, 2009 in Boston, MA. Many interesting sessions are scheduled and though we're unable to attend this year, Game Forward hopes to bring you details as they unfold. This year’s conference will provide insight to the growing worlds of exergaming & active games, health training games and disease management applications, among others.

On June 15-16, Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario will be the host of the first Interacting with Immersive Worlds conference. Keynote speakers will include academics and game designers, and sessions scheduled on both days will discuss immersive worlds in education and entertainment, as well as critical approaches to immersion.

The 2009 Game Education Summit will be taking place soon after on June 16-17, 2009, at Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center in Pittsburgh, PA. This year’s event promises to be more in depth, offering more sessions helpful for course development and curriculum design. The event will feature industry roundtables, and will include a serious games track and a games as art track.

Planned for June 23, in San Francisco, CA, the one-day Social Gaming Summit 2009 will discuss the meeting of games and social media, with a focus on how developers can monetize and grow their social games. Announced speakers include representatives of MySpace and Facebook, software developers, monetization firms and venture partners.

Finally, an event I am particularly interested in is the 14th Annual International CyberTherapy and CyberPsychology Conference, in Lago Maggiore, Verbania-Intra, Italy. Taking place June 21-23, 2009, the conference will bring together researchers, clinicians, policy makers and funding agencies to discuss advancements in cyber therapy and cyber psychology.

This year’s event hopes to explore a broader field, including clinical therapy and rehabilitation, cognitive sciences, social sciences, and computer sciences and will consider the emerging applications of new media in psychotherapy. The topic is of interest to me, for an upcoming feature I have in the works exploring the uses of virtual reality in therapy.