A doctor, a video game developer and a healthcare worker walk into a bar ...
It's the start of a joke Ben Sawyer said he was going to tell about what he believes will be commonplace in the near future: video games about healthcare.
Sawyer is co-founder of Games for Health, a project financed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a philanthropy that works to improve the health and healthcare of Americans. The organization brought together researchers, medical professionals and game developers Thursday to figure out how to develop health-oriented video games and the effect they can have on healthcare and policy.
"There's this caveman logic that it's all about kids and games, but there are so many other people we can reach," Sawyer said during a break between speakers at the conference in Seattle. "We can get the (healthcare and gaming) worlds to crash together and apply the different ideas in new and innovative ways."
Speakers at the conference demonstrated the few healthcare video games on the market, including "Re-mission," aimed at teenage cancer patients. Its motto is "cancer is toast," and it features a cyberwoman swimming through a person's body, shooting and destroying cancer.
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