Gaming the Health System for Innovation and Change

Yesterday I attended the Cure4Kids Global Health Summit at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. The three day event (continuing for the next two days) aims to bring together researchers, practitioners, and clinicians working on issues of importance to child and youth health — including an emphasis on the role of engaging young people. Of the many presentations and conversations that were had on the first day of the event, the ones that struck me the most were on the potential of games and gaming to engage people and promote literacy.

Games are entered into voluntarily and allow for natural collaboration, creative exploration, and constant, developmental learning.

Developing serious games for health often requires artists, designers, users, engineers, social scientists, educators and health professionals working collaboratively so it provides a natural laboratory for design research and studies on participatory engagement on health issues.

But what excited me the most was seeing how games were being developed through games themselves. Small competitions, limited budgets and compressed timelines along with mentorship produced some amazing results (which will be discussed in a later post).

Watching it all, it opened my eyes to how gaming — the games and the process of creating the game itself – could offer so much to learning about innovation, discovery and collaboration.

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