Finally. . . the Finalists!

Nov 1, 2007, 10:47 AM, Posted by

There's one week left in the voting for the Why Games Matter competition.  To review the 14 finalists and vote for your favorites, please visit

When you get to the competition site, you're going to find an eclectic collection of finalists, and I think some may surprise you--these entries are not just for kids playing stationary consoles.  At the outset of the competition, Debra Lieberman, health games researcher and Games for Health advisor, defined a game as " 'a rule-based activity involving challenge to reach a goal.'  As soon as a goal is involved and the activity is bounded by rules, it becomes a game."  The finalists for Why Games Matter do a lot to bring context to this definition, and challenge some traditional expectations of video games.   

The most obvious challenge is that the target audiences for many of these games aren't young, and in some cases aren't even patients!  Among of the finalists are exergames, or games in which exerting physical activity is a rule to reach the goal.  And, while people often think good games come from big budget technology companies, that definitely does not apply to most of these finalists. There are plenty of unexpected entries in this competition.

Please remember, the final day for voting is November 7!

This commentary originally appeared on the RWJF Pioneering Ideas blog.