A recent article in Health Affairs titled: “Games for Health: the Latest Tool in the Medical Care Arsenal” stated that “computer-based simulations and interactive programs are introducing a powerful new force in health care: FUN”. At the same time the article also noting that “new tools in health care are proliferating like viral spoors in a virtual pond.” While there is a growing proliferation of stand alone health games, this panel will consider the specific use of health games embedded in persistent avatar-based worlds where users manage the health and well being of their avatars as virtual substitutes for their own health and wellness. The panel will present actual data from use cases ranging from tweens to boomers, including what evidence is available to suggest that virtual behavior crosses into behavior in the real world. The panel will also discuss how new mobile health devices are likely to contribute to the blending of virtual and real worlds.
9th–13th March 2012