[Health] Serious Gaming conferences (not what you think)

Chris Leonard cjlhomeaddress at gmail.com
Mon Apr 28 14:24:06 EDT 2008

I just came across these interesting conferences.

Games for Health Fourth Annual Conference 2008
May 8-9, 2008, Baltimore MD
(yes I know it's crazy short notice, but I just came across it)


Games for Change
2008 Fifth Annual Games for Change Festival
Parsons the New School for Design in NYC

June 3

and/or pre-festival workshop, June 2

An OLPC presence at one or both of the conferences below looks like too good
an opportunity to pass up for meeting/recruiting other game developers with
compatible goals and for showing off the XO as a really cool platform that
they should consider porting.  I posted the info for "Games for Change" to
etoys, devel and games lists.  It's still within a reasonable timeframe to
organize an "official OLPC" presence for that one and SJ has expressed some
interest in that idea.

It's less realistic to expect that anyone will be going to Games for Health,
but I passed notice along to OLPC Learning Club DC, just in case.  In any
event, the list of presenters makes for some excellent leads on identifying
potential developers/projects with similar goals.

There is a certain sad irony in the fact that a number of the games in
development seem to be about getting over-nourished kids to put down the
game controller and get active when malnutrition is such a great concern for
the developing world.   That's not to say that a little economic development
won't bring all of the ills of the first world to others in time or that
exercise messaging isn't suitable in any environment, but I think those
particular materials would need substantial reworking for use by OLPC.  To a
great extent OLPC represents the first time there will be a channel/platform
for reaching the developing world with such games, so it's perfectly
pragmatic that there has been little work there to date.  I very much want
to think that some introduction to OLPC's efforts would bring the passion of
these folks for electronic health message delivery to bear on a wider world

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