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Simple Games, Shared Experiences and the Future of Empathy

A great game called Spent has gotten a fair bit of attention for its incredibly simple yet powerful simulation of life below the poverty line.

4 Lessons from Gaming in a Corporate Context

What can an engaged forecasting game do for my company?

This is a question I've heard a lot over the past couple of years.  Based on aggregated lessons from the corporate games of which I've been a part, below are 4 key insights from engaging with games in a corporate context:

1.  Dipping a toe in gaming = liberating!

Jan 12 SF event, The Power of Play: Innovations in Getting Active

In just under a week, on January 12, leaders in the areas of fitness, science, health care, game design, video games, and education will converge to talk about the Power of Play, especially active gaming. 

Playing with games for health

For the past few years, we've been keenly interested in how games can be used to encourage healthy behaviors.  My colleague, Jane McGonigal, even developed and prototyped a street game called CryptoZoo on behalf of the American Heart Association.

BodyShock Winner Profile: Gaming for Mental Health

Play it! Say it! from IFTF on Vimeo.

We're excited to start releasing the winning presentations from the BodyShock the Future contest for ideas to improve global health that was held this summer.

CryptoZoo—A game that's good for your health, and fun, too!

Come out and play CryptoZoo, a new real-world game the health Horizons Program has developed in partnership with the American Heart Association.

The game will be played this Sunday afternoon in San Francisco, and next weekend in New York City at the Come Out and Play Festival, but you can play anywhere, anytime. IFTF Director of Game Design and Research Jane McGonigal says, "There’s an after-dark night chase and a daytime chase in both cities. Night-time is a bit more adventurous, daytime more playful and family friendly." From the game description:

It's a secret world of strange, fast-moving creatures... Your city is full of strange creatures, hiding in plain sight. But to catch a glimpse of them, you have to keep up... Learn how to run with the most mysterious species on the planet: bounce like springboras, slalom like whip zananas, crouch-run like ninja rabbits, spin like swingdogs, jump like tiptrees, and swing like the summit monkeys. You've never moved like this before. And once you've run with the cryptids, you'll never move the same way again.

Got Game at Health Horizons

It's a hectic time for us in the Health Horizons Program.  Our 2009 Spring Conference on Health and Health Care is less than two weeks away.  A couple of days before the conference starts, we will be participating in the sneak preview of a street game that IFTF's director of game research and development, Jane McGonigal, has created as part an American Heart Association collaboration with Health Horizons.

CryptoZoo is about inventing the future of physical activity, about
making play and gaming a bigger part of how we take care of ourselves. It is a proof-of-concept game, a way for us to show what
physical activity could (and we think, should) be like in the future:
more fun, more social, and better integrated with our everyday lives.

Follow up to post about video bikes: They're fun!

I blogged the other day about these cool new stationary bikes I had seen at the gym.  I was there again yesterday (twice in one week!), and noticed a woman who was riding away intensely on one of them.  A few minutes later, she triumphantly shouted, "I won!!" and stretched her arms overhead in victory.  It was as if she had just passed Lance Armstrong to take a leg of the Tour de France. I chuckled to myself, and then realized this was a moment of opportunity for me to conduct some field research. 

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