Department of Game Design

Summer school to focus on improving health through game design

2016-03-18

A two week course will be arranged this summer in Visby within the framework of EIT Health, an EU health research consortium where Uppsala University plays a leading role. The course allows students from a variety of fields to develop game concepts with the specific aim of encouraging a healthy lifestyle.

Promoting a healthy lifestyle is a central part of EIT Health’s mission, and to this end the course 'Innovation Game - a summer school applying serious game design in healthcare and education' has been developed. During the course, students will work together in teams and develop game concepts that provide a solution to specific and real challenges within the healthcare system. There are several reasons Visby has been chosen as the location for the course.

'The Department of Game Design at Campus Gotland has a unique set of skills. The island of Gotland is already facing the types of healthcare challenges that can be expected in the near future throughout the western world: An ageing, geographically widespread population living far away from hospitals. This situation increases the relevance of the challenges our students take on,' says Catharina Svensson, course coordinator and professor at the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Microbiology at Uppsala University.

The idea is that the participants in the multi-disciplinary teams will contribute different perspectives and experiences. Anyone with an undergraduate degree and a good command of English is eligible, and practicing professionals are also welcome to take the course. The teachers come from different fields, from psychology to innovation – and of course from the Department of Game Design at Campus Gotland in Visby, where the course will be held.

'We want to show the participants how innovative processes can solve need-based problems, and how their knowledge and skills can contribute to tackling the challenges facing healthcare systems within the EU,' says Catharina Svensson.

The staff at the Department of Game Design is looking forward to the new course.

'The summer school gives us opportunities to share our knowledge and experience with a wider audience. It allows us to take the strong user engagement found in games and applying it on a social service, in this instance supporting people’s ability to actively take responsibility for their own health and successfully work towards their goal,' says Adam Mayes, lecturer at the Department of Game Design.

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