Games in Healthcare

US Army Looks to Video Game to Get Soldiers to Butt Out

An Escape With Your Life MachineAnti-smoking aids are going digital. The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has selected professor and expert on kicking the habit Alexander Prokhorov, M.D., Ph.D to lead the development of an anti-smoking video game targeting the country's armed forces.

Priced at nearly $4 million USD, the new game is an army-sized version of the dramatically titled Escape With Your Life previously designed by Prokhorov. It is aimed at the roughly 38 percent of soldiers and other military workers who smoke cigarettes, as well as the 15% who chew or dip smokeless tobacco. The software will contain educational activities to assist forces in both quitting and not succumbing to the pressure to restart. It will also cover withdrawal symptoms and propose strategies by which to overcome them. Read More...

Mental Health Tool Helps Spot Students at Risk

At-Risk LogoA newly developed training tool called At-Risk is helping faculty staff at the City University of New York (CUNY) better notice and intervene with students dealing with mental distress. The online simulator is meant to teach professors and other support staff some of the cues to spot in order to direct these students to councillors before things get out of hand.

Developed by Kogito Interactive in collaboration with the Mental Health Association of New York City, the software has been in pilot testing at CUNY since its release in November of 2008. The largest urban public university in the United States with more than 450,000 students, CUNY already sees positive results. "Most of the feedback we’ve gotten so far has been anecdotal, but preliminarily at least, it’s been encouraging,” said Chris Rosa, CUNY assistant dean for student affairs. Read More...

Serious Game Raises Awareness About HIV and AIDS in Kenya

A Scene from Pamoja MtaaniAlthough they were originally made for recreation, video games have made their way into the teaching experience within the last decade. In Nairobi, Kenya, the video game titled Pamoja Mtaani (roughly translated as Together in the Hood) is teaching young people in the capital city of Nairobi about the risks of HIV/AIDS as well as prevention strategies.

The game was developed and distributed by the private entertainment company Virtual Heroes through a partnership between Warner Brothers Entertainment and the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. It simulates real-life situations in which characters find themselves at risk of contracting HIV in realistic settings within the city. In order to advance through the game’s levels, players must decide the best course of action to solve the problems their characters face. Read More...

Softkinetic 3D Technology Lands in Hong Kong Family Entertainment Centres

A Jumpin Gym USA CentreSoftkinetic, the maker of an innovative 3D motion recognition system has announced a new partnership with Hong Kong’s leading family entertainment centre chain, Jumpin Gym USA. The gesture recognition technology will be used in a variety of interactive games currently being developed by Jumpin Gym USA for use in the company’s more than 50 centres in Hong Kong.

“Jumpin Gym USA has always been at the forefront of innovation in the development of engaging interactive entertainment solutions,” said Nicky Chung, Chief Project Manager at Jumpin Gym Digital Entertainment Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Jumpin Gym USA.“We selected Softkinetic’s 3D gesture recognition technology to offer our customers a set of new, intuitive and immersive gameplays [sic].” Read More...