Dates of Program: September 2007 to September 2013
Description: Health Games Research provided scientific leadership to help build the emerging research field focused on health games and supported 21 research projects aimed at improving the design and effectiveness of health games intended to increase physical activity or improve self-care behaviors. Some projects tested existing games to achieve health goals while others designed and tested new health games. The games, targeted to diverse age and demographic groups, addressed a range of health topics and behaviors, used various game genres, and were played on technologies including traditional video game consoles, computers, mobile phones, exertion interfaces (e.g., dance pads), robots, social networks, and virtual worlds.
A companion initiative, the Games for Health Project, supported the field by convening conferences and providing game design consulting and leadership to the health games industry.
“These research projects comprise the largest single collection of people doing research in games for health anywhere on the planet. We helped establish a body of literature that would not have existed before.”—Paul Tarini, MA, RWJF senior program officer