Games for Change Festival: Introducing our new Neurogaming & Health track


Announcing sessions in the
Neurogaming & Health track

For the first time ever, the Games for Change Festival will feature a Neurogaming & Health track that highlights collaborations between researchers and developers who are producing games with remarkable, measurable outcomes. Check out this track’s speakers and meet its curator, Asi Burak, below!


Coming soon: more info on our Civics & Social Issues track and the Games for Learning Summit!


Sea Hero Quest

Saving the human mind
Within 24 hours of launch, Deutsche Telekom’s mobile game to fight dementia, Sea Hero Quest, reached over 140,000 downloads. Wolfgang Kampbartold, VP at Deutsche Telekom (DT), will share more on the game’s success and explain why a global telecom leader has decided to invest in crowdgaming.


From Fantasy to Empathy: Changing game dialogue for the real world
Kognito writers Jennifer Hepler, who previously wrote the Dragon Age series at Bioware and many other commercial titles, and Seth Bleecker present how game dialogue can encourage us to be more empathetic.


Psychology and game design at Valve
Valve’s senior experimental psychologist Mike Ambinder takes attendees behind the scenes of the maker of Half-Life, Portal, and more. Take an in-depth look at Valve’s game design process, how they measure the impact of their decisions, and how this applies to games aiming to affect the real world.


Hacking neuroscience with OpenBCI
In this surprising live demo with an audience volunteer (will it be you?), the hackers, programmers, and researchers of OpenBCI present a first-hand look into open-source platforms for biosensing and brain-computer interfaces. 

Neurosky Star Wars Force Trainer
Star Wars Force Trainer
NeuroSky CEO Stanley Yang breaks down the history of NeuroSky biosensors and their integration into commercial toys, from their Star Wars Force Trainer and beyond.

syncself 2
Moving mindfully using wearable technology
Speaking about the development of VR and neurogaming, artist Karen Palmer shares her interactive film fusing parkour and gaming, Syncself 2, and reveals the process behind her current project, Riot, an immersive video installation.


Zombies, Run!

Zombies, Run! and Overwatch
Six to Start CEO and founder Adrian Hon presents his studio’s ongoing work in health apps and their game Zombies, Run!, which boasts 2.5 million players. Get a look at their new game for wearables, codenamed Overwatch.

Videogames and meditation
Robin Arnott, the award-winning creator of SoundSelf, a 2014 G4C Awards nominee, analyzes meditation as game design and argues how meditation systems can be adapted and even improved by modern videogame technology.  

Snow World
VR and Snow World: Working with burn victims
Ari Hollander, co-founder and CTO of DeepStream VR, highlights VR project Snow World‘s potential to reduce pain for severe burn patients. Clinical trials show dramatic reductions in pain, plus patients report feeling less anxious when they have VR to help them through the painful procedure.


The quest for FDA-approved games
The road to FDA approval is long and expensive but promising studies have encouraged acclaimed neuroscientist Dr. Adam Gazzaley to move his game from the lab into the commercial world. Project: Evo has already shown solid results in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).


Rewiring the Brain: Anxiety treatment
A new health game, Seeing the Good Side, developed by American University‘s Game Lab in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health, seeks to leverage hidden-object puzzles to provide a “gaming regimen” for children with anxiety.



Meet the Neurogaming & Health Curator: Asi Burak
Asi Burak, the chairman of Games for Change, is a veteran of the videogame and technology industries, and an award-winning executive producer and designer. For the past five years, he served as the President of Games for Change (replaced by Susanna Pollack).

From the curator:
“It’s exciting that the Festival features a Neurogaming & Health track for the first time, so it’s all fresh and we’re engaging new communities with games for change. We tried to bring a broad perspective — from top-down efforts funded by government, to successful private ventures, to open-source indie communities and even neurogaming as art.”


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