The Power of Play: Innovations in Getting Active Summit 2011

A Science Panel Proceedings Report From the American Heart Association


Active-play video games can improve self-esteem, lessen anxiety and encourage social interaction around physical activity.

The Power of Play: Innovations in Getting Active Summit 2011 was a collaboration between the American Heart Association and Nintendo of America. The Summit explored the potential of active-play video games to overcome sedentary lifestyles. Those who attended included professionals from the video game industry, medicine, public health, fitness, and technology. The summit included a full day meeting and half-day science panel.

This science panel proceedings report discusses the overall effects of active-play video games; the authors revisit presentations from the Power of Play science panels; in addition, the report discusses findings in already published literature.

Key Findings:

  • Players respond positively when games require cooperative interaction.
  • Active-play video games allow people of different ages and physical abilities to play together.
  • As the technology evolves, active-play video games will become more powerful, adding features that allow for emotional data recognition and response.

This report presents key information from the science panel of the Power of Play Summit at the University of California San Francisco. There is growing enthusiasm for the potential of active-play video gaming in health promotion and disease prevention.