While Health and Wellness Games have been strongly supported by the dedicated people involved in Games for Health (thank you Ben Sawyer) and Robert Woods Johnson Foundation sponsorship, HCD takes a different approach to the connection between casual and social network games and the issue of healthy community development.
Health games, while loaded with the best in information and exposure to best practices, often fall short in the “great-game-design” area. Wellness games of the Wii-Fit genre provide easily quantified physical activity in a wide range of disciplines (walking, stepping, yoga and balance), the actual game-play itself is not so compelling. Each of these health and wellness game options can be a powerful tool for engaging those who don’t go easily into the “fitness” habit.
For the long-term, sustainable participation required for a change of culture and healthy community development in least active or inactive populations a more compelling (even addictive) game design is needed.
So, you ask – got a great game but where is the physical activity that’s the first step in a wellness participation process? That’s the key, and while the answer is not simple or obvious, it is attainable. Please take a look at our various posts on the topic of WellnessGaming. Your comments, questions and links are both important to the discussion and crucial to our making a difference for millions of not-so-active gamers. We can make it easy to “choose to move.”