Earlier this month Tiltfactor game designer Max Seidman represented the lab at the annual Games for Health conference in Boston. The conference is exactly what it sounds like: a place where game experts, health professionals, and health stakeholders come together to share innovations in improving health and health care through games, as well as to be inspired to make further breakthroughs!
While Games for Health bills itself as “Exploring the intersection of videogames and health,” over the past few years the conference has begun to expand to include all sorts of games for health, not just videogames. To this end, Max presented Tiltfactor’s research on the benefits of nondigital games in a session entitled Board & Card Games for Health. Also speaking were Nikki Zaleski, the Youth Education Coordinator for the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health (ICAH), and Nick Jehlen, a partner at The Action Mill. Nikki presented and demonstrated Talk the Talk, a card game designed by and for teens in the ICAH community in order to promote conversations about sex and sexuality, specifically surrounding “sexual health, rights, and identities.”
Nick spoke about My Gift of Grace, a card game to instigate discussion of end of life care among friends and families.
During the session, Max introduced Tiltfactor’s two new health care games, Gut Check and Bill of Health, developed in collaboration with Digital Mill and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson foundation. Gut Check is designed to encourage players to use all of the information available to them when seeking health care. The game aims to illustrate how publicly accessible health pricing and quality data leads to higher quality outcomes at reduced prices.
Bill of Health is designed to illustrate the concept of capitated payments for health care in the U.S. health care system, and this payment model’s positive effects on health care quality and costs.
Both games were hits at the conference, and many attendees had a chance to play one or the other, often intending only to sample the games but ending up playing them all the way through!