Why Games Matter: A Prescription for Improving Health and Health Care

Three Online Competitions Seek Collaborative, Innovative Solutions to Entrenched Health and Social Problems

    • April 17, 2008

Dates of Project: August 2006 to July 2008

Field of Work: Supporting innovators whose bold ideas push beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and health care.

Synopsis of the Work: Changemakers, an online community for social entrepreneurs, provides a forum in which social innovators can develop solutions to entrenched health and social problems. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded three online competitions through Changemakers to generate innovative projects related to specific issues. "Why Games Matter: A Prescription for Improving Health and Health Care" was one of the competitions.

Story Told: The games competition sought to tap into the growing interest in computer and video games and support efforts to develop games that can help people learn about, manage, and improve their health. The competition was aimed at existing programs that were ready for expansion, scale-up, or replication elsewhere. The three winners were:

  • Freedom HIV/AIDS, sponsored by ZMQ Software Systems, New Delhi, India, which includes four games on HIV/AIDS awareness for mobile phones.
  • RePlay: Finding Zoe, sponsored by Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children, Toronto, Canada, an online game that promotes healthy, egalitarian, and non-violent relationships between girls and boys.
  • Reach Out! Central, sponsored by Inspire Foundation, Sydney, Australia, an online game that helps young people identify and work through issues such as depression, anger, and anxiety.

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