Mar 31, 2011, 2:36 AM, Posted by RWJF Blog Team
This post originally appeared on Gamesforhealth.org
by BEN SAWYER on MARCH 28, 2011
Today the Games for Health Conference, now in its seventh year, announced its opening keynote will be Dr. Martin Seligman. Widely known as the founding father of Positive Psychology, Dr. Seligman will help Games for Health attendees understand the opportunities that positive psychology presents for games.
Drawing upon his latest findings concerning PERMA (five measurable elements that contribute to well-being: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, and accomplishment) and happiness Dr. Seligman will provide the basis for a conference long discussion and quest for how videogame developers and researchers can create “PERMA Power Ups” forged by a collaboration between the documented interventions of positive psychology and interactive entertainment. This presentation will also help attendees see beyond positive psychology to the possibility of a broader field of positive health.
His opening talk “Positive Psychology>Positive Computing>Positive Videogames” is one of over 60 talks planned for the three day event. Event organizers announced the initial schedule of talks is now online at its site:
“Games for Health as a field is moving past establishing itself as a worthy idea, to being a robust area of mass-market activity. Our seventh conference, with an opening keynote by Dr. Seligman, is an attempt to further realize the opportunity videogames and videogame technologies might have for health and healthcare on a large-scale,” said conference organizer Ben Sawyer.
Each year the Games for Health Conference, which is supported by the Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, brings together hundreds of researchers, health professionals, and game developers to look at a wide gamut of activity involving health and videogames. This year’s event continues with staple tracks of content on exercise, sensorimotor rehab, cognitive and emotional health, and features new talks on nutrition games, as well as excellent open track featured content on autism, HIV prevention, gamification of health, personal health records, sensor games, and global health.
Games for Health also features three excellent pre-conference events focusing on games accessibility, mobile games, and medical modeling and simulation with games.
“The breadth of material covered at games for health is one of its great strengths. As a sponsor of the conference and The Games for Health Project, we’re amazed at the continued expansion of where videogame innovation is showing possible efficacy in improving health and healthcare for all Americans,” said Paul Tarini, senior program officer for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pioneer Portfolio.
ABOUT GAMES FOR HEALTH
Founded in 2004, the Games for Health Project supports community, knowledge, and business development efforts to use cutting-edge games and game technologies to improve health and health care. The Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the lead conference sponsor and a major supporter of the Games for Health Project. To date, the project has brought together researchers, medical professionals, and game developers to share information about the impact games and game technologies can have on health, health care, and policy.
A major effort of the Games for Health Project is the annual Games for Health Conference. Over three days, more than 400 attendees will participate in over 60 sessions provided by an international array of 80+ speakers, cutting across a wide range of activities in health and health care. Topics include exergaming, physical therapy, disease management, health behavior change, biofeedback, rehab, epidemiology, training, cognitive health, nutrition, and health education. The Games for Health Project is produced by the Serious Games Initiative, a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars effort that applies cutting-edge games and game technologies to a range of public and private policy, leadership, and management issues.
ABOUT DR. MARTIN SELIGMAN
Dr. Martin Seligman is Zellerbach family professor of psychology, Director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, and founder of Positive Psychology, a new branch of psychology which focuses on the empirical study of such things as positive emotions, strengths-based character, and healthy institutions. His research has demonstrated that it is possible to be happier — to feel more satisfied, to be more engaged with life, find more meaning, have higher hopes, and probably even laugh and smile more, regardless of one’s circumstances. Positive psychology interventions can also lastingly decrease depression symptoms. The research underlying these rigorously tested interventions is presented in Dr. Seligman’s new book, FLOURISH, published by Free Press in April 2011.
ABOUT THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION AND THE PIONEER PORTFOLIO
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and healthcare issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and healthcare of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. Projects in the Pioneer Portfolio are future-oriented and look beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and healthcare. For more information, visit our website at www.rwjf.org/pioneer.
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