Computer games can be good for your health

Research news

Tuesday 08 January 2013

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A two-day conference, taking place in Amsterdam next month, will bring together world leaders in serious games development and healthcare – helping to advance game technologies that improve health and the delivery of health care.

From 5th-6th November, Games for Health Europe aims to bring together medical professionals, academics and industry leaders to engage in pioneering discussions on the impact games, simulations and game-like techniques are have on the health care sector.

Following the appointment of Coventry University as the only UK satellite institution involved in developing the conference, amongst the global speakers taking part will be three from the University and its commercial subsidiaries. These are:  Mark Stanger – commercial director of SG International; Jacqueline Cawston – programmes director at the Serious Games Institute (SGI) and Dr Erica Bowen – senior lecturer in Psychology at Coventry University.

Microsoft's worldwide health senior director, Bill Crounse, MD, is among the keynote speakers at the event, alongside Ben Sawyer, game designer and co-founder of the American Games For Health conference, who will offer new insights and lead a specialized workshop on serious game development.

Dr Erica Bowen will be updating delegates on the CAVA game, developed at Coventry University, which aims to help raise awareness of, and challenge attitudes towards, violence in adolescent dating relationships. This online resource, which includes a range of tasks and scenarios which require responses to a role play of conflict resolution, is in its final development stages ahead of its free roll out to schools this autumn.

Also on show at the conference will be a number of pioneering initiatives from Coventry University. These include:

    Shoulder Dystocia maternity app – a dedicated teaching and learning resource designed for midwives in practice;
    iSpectrum – a web based game created to assist adults with autism to develop social and vocational skills for the workplace;
    PRE:PARe (Positive Relationships: Eliminating coercion and Pressure in Adolescent Relationships) – an online game designed for use with young people in sex education lessons that helps deal with issues of pressure and sexual coercion;
    Cooking for sport and exercise app – an exciting and easy-to-use recipe resource that helps make the science of food and nutrition simple to understand and offers tasty and healthy recipe ideas.

Jacqueline Cawston, programmes director at SGI, said:

This conference will bring together key players in the serious games industry who are focused on improving health through technology. This is an exciting opportunity for this rapidly growing industry to show how it can aid the medical, health and health education sectors now and in the future.

Delegates also have the chance to receive a 10% discount on entrance and exhibition packages, simply visit the Games for Health Europe website and enter the promotional code SGI2012GFHEU.

For further information please contact Sarah-Jane Dean, Communications Assistant, Coventry University, on +44 (0)24 7688 8245 or email