It’s all in the Games… for Health!!!

It’s October 25, 2011 and we’re at the heart of Amsterdam where the Games for Health summit is organized outside of the USA for the very first. And right from the start it seems to be a great success. Besides a very interesting program with great speakers, Jurriaan van Rijswijk, his organizing team and Healthcare insurance company CZ announced the prestigious Future of Health Award. The request was simple: send us the most innovative idea for gaming in health. Loads of ideas for innovative games we’re send in since.

The prize

The prize will be rewarded based for 50% on a jury verdict and for the other 50% based on votes from the TEDxMaastricht attendees. And so during TEDxMaastricht the nominees are pitching like mad men to get those votes in. For a good cause as the winner takes home €200.000 to get their idea actually developed.

And the winner is…

HeartVille (Jaap Gerretsen)

Jury comment: Heartville has the ingredients for success: it addresses the right problem, starts form a proven concept and is based on an existing methodology. The idea combines lifestyle and mental health and is expandable to broader target groups. If the game works for this target group it will work for other people as well. The idea is embedded in a context and in a community an d can lead to relevant measurable results. The business plan is put forward  by a rich multi disciplinary consortium. The jury was impressed by the quality of the business plan.

Promising runner ups

The jury report on the nominated game ideas of the runner ups:

DayDream (Jan Jonk)

Jury comment: Many studies focus on how people with disabilities can find pleasure in virtual environment, but it isn’t easy to arrange this technically. A different, more customizable solution like Daydream would be great! This creative and innovative concept uses innovative technology (biofeedback by brain computer interface). Although the target group is relatively small (paralyzed people), the concept has the potential to be broadened. There are not many examples for solutions like this in this field.

Chain of Foods (Diane Tucker)

Jury comment: The topic obesity is very relevant today. According to the jury, gaming can be a great way to emphasize the importance of healthy nutrition. This idea is well designed and has a good and innovative game concept. There is definitely a market for such a game.

FigureRunning (Willempje Vrins & Leonieke Verhoog)

Jury comment: Even though the idea for this game is not new, the way these two runner geeks organized a community around this idea is wonderful. It created great social involvement and the execution is creative. With some help, Figurerunning has the potential to become a real social community or even movement – a Figure movement. The idea has the potential for reaching a broad target group with more applications possible.

Game Domestic Violence (Jan de Werd)

Jury comment: This game reaches an important but forgotten target group. At the moment the idea is in a premature stage, but it is fully supported and put on the agenda with a passionate and authentic pitch. Even though it’s hard to link the fight against domestic violence to a game, the jury is convinced that a game could make a positive contribution to the subject.

Another chance

Have an idea of your own: the contest will be organized again during the next Games for Health Europe 2012 summit on November 6 and 7.

A blog by Wouter Wolters