Games for Health Europe 2014

This year’s iteration of the Games for Health Europe annual conference took place in Utrecht, Netherlands on the 27th and 28th of October. It is the official sister conference of the Games for Health project (USA) and aims to promote and discuss the effective use of serious games in healthcare fields.

Dr. Jussi Holopainen, co-director of the GEElab Europe, attended the conference with a talk titled “Behavior Change Techniques, Playability Heuristics and Mobile Health Games”. During his session he explained that interaction with the target group and medical professionals is important for shaping game design from an early stage of a project. Also he spoke about how the combination of established behavioral change techniques with game design insights gained by heuristic evaluation methods is fundamental to creating effective games for health.
The other talks about the use of game design in healthcare were equally interesting and covered topics as diverse as games for disabled children (Elro wants to play), urban games for sedentary and elderly people (Active Parks) or the use of games to crowd-source research efforts (, an online game about protein folding).
The possible applications of game design in healthcare fields are promising and varied. They continue to spark discussion and collaboration between game developers and medical professionals.