Serious Games

Game Competitions Spur Health and Social Innovation

Imagine Cup LogoMicrosoft launched the second call for submissions for the 2010 Imagine Cup competition, which looks to students ages 16 and up for innovative ideas on how to use technology to address pressing world issues.

The competition encourages the creation of software or video games in a range of fields, such as healthcare, education and disease prevention. The competition aims to address some of the world's most challenging social issues presented in the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals. Read More...

A first set of finalists were selected during an initial competition in Fall of 2009. They include a program that accurately predicts the fibrosis stage in hepatitis patients, a business intelligence tool designed to analyze the electrical consumption of computer networks and an educational game for primary students to interact with peers around the world.

"The Imagine Cup is a unique opportunity for students to help solve real-world problems while gaining experience outside the classroom," said Anthony Salcito, Vice-President for Worldwide Education at Microsoft.

Registration for the spring competition closes February 1, 2010. Winners will earn a cash prize and trip to represent the United States at the worldwide finals in July 2010 taking place in Warsaw, Poland.

In December 2009, Humana Games for Health announced the winners of the InsertCoin competition, which called for creative new ideas for healthcare video games. Receiving the top prize was Dance Class, an idea developed by Shelly Warmuth, where players are taught to dance by virtual dance instructor avatars.

John Green submitted the second place idea called Camp Awesome. The concept is a summer camp simulator in which players get the full experience of attending a camp. The third prize went to Kevin Ray for his idea called Jungle Mayhem, an activity and social based game. On top of cash awards, winning entries will be developed into prototypes by Humana Games for Health which could be made into commercial games in the near future.

“It was a very difficult decision to pick the top three entries from such a competitive field and we look forward to discussing these ideas in more detail with each of the winners,” said Paul Puopolo, leader of the Games for Health team. “This contest is representative of Humana’s continued belief that game technology can be used to help people lead healthier lives.”