The 2011 Games for Health Conference in Boston last week was a big hit. This year featured distinct pre-conference tracks including the Medica Ludica track. Clinical Playground’s own Eric B. Bauman presented on educational theory for game-based learning in the clinical sciences. The Games for Health Conference series is one of the few venues where attendees can take a very hands on approach to learning about games designed for healthcare education from both the clinical and public education perspectives. Expert panels including the state of game-based learning for clinical education included industry and academic experts such as Pavarti Dev (Innovation in Learning/CliniSpace), Jerry Heneghan (Virtual Heroes), Bob Waddington (SimQuest), Skip Rizzo (USC).
Virtual Heroes demonstrated their new iPad application HumanSim. HumanSim is powered by the Unreal Engine and contains an amazing level of fidelity and interactivity. The download for this app is already available via Apple’s iTunes. An iPhone app is coming soon. SimQuest also demonstrated there impressive new game, Blast. Blast a simulation-based game offers civilian and military care providers targeted training in effective scene and patient management following an explosive blast incident.
The opening plenary session for the official kick-off of Games for Health 2011 featured Martin Seligman, PhD, Director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center. Seligman is the founder of Positive Psychology a new branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strenghs-based character, and healthy institutions. Seligman argues that it is possible to be happier and to train people to become happier. His techniques have been adopted by the U.S. Army and are detailed in his new book FLOURISH. Seligman argues that broadly disseminating the techniques associated with Positive Psychology can be achieved through game-based learning and technology.
A special thanks to Conference founder Ben Sawyer and organizer Beth Bryant. Their hard work, tireless efforts, and hospitality really have made the Games For Health Conference Series a must attend, do not miss venue.