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Session Name: Serious Games Go Mobile: Three Projects Pushing Serious Games into Mobile Platforms
Speaker(s): Nisha Alex, Larry Holland, Matthew Kam
Company Name(s): Teachers College, Columbia University, Totally Games, Carnegie Mellon University
Track / Format: Serious Games Summit
Overview: As the world increasingly adds millions of mobile platforms from Nokia, Apple, Google, and others the opportunity for serious games on mobile platforms is starting to unfold. This session features presentations of serious games for mobile devices that attempt to take advantage of the unique aspects mobile platforms can offer including accelerometers for measuring physical activity, mobile availability for behavior change interventions, and the reach of mobile platforms into emerging economies.

Three specific projects are highlighted in back-to-back-to-back demonstrations:

* Lit to Quit: A Mobile Game for Health
Designing engaging games using mobile technologies has significant implications for game and health industries. This presentation describes iPod Touch/iPhone features that can be harnessed to create games that have positive health outcomes.
Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Lit is being designed specifically for the iPod Touch/iPhone as a health intervention for smoking reduction. Breathing into a microphone to control gameplay, coupled with sound, graphics, challenges and feedback to mimic the stimulant and relaxant effects of smoking, it provides a potential alternative to smoking with the goal of reducing or eliminating tobacco use in players' lives.

*MILLEE: Mobile and Immersive Learning for Literacy in Emerging Economies
Cellphone-based games that enable poor children in the developing world to acquire language and literacy in immersive, game-like environments. The MILLEE project is in its 6th year and has seen extensive field tests. It adopts a human-centered approach to designing immersive, enjoyable, language learning games, modeled after the traditional village games that rural children find familiar. The project has received major sponsorship from MacArthur Foundation, Microsoft, National Science Foundation, Nokia, Qualcomm and Verizon. It was featured in the press in India (where the last 10 rounds of field studies took place), a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation television documentary and ABC News.

* Hills of Gold : Walk to Play
Hills of Gold is an iPhone/iPod Touch game project being built for Humana, Inc. that combines everyday walking around with a fun-to-play resource strategy game about the California Gold Rush. According to an article posted by the American College of Sports Medicine, a number of large- scale studies over several years have shown that individuals who walk at least 30 minutes per day may reduce their risk of cardiovascular disease up to 50 percent compared to sedentary individuals.
Hills of Gold aims to incentivize and support such habitual activity by bringing some overlayed gameplay to everyday walks. Players must move their character and his resources of mules, miners, food, gunslingers, and more around the gold rush country of California in 1849 trying to find their fortune. As the player walks the iPhone/iPod Touch accelerometer measures physical activity and translates that into gameplay data the player uses to move their lead miner and his party around the game world. Players must fend of claim jumpers, manage their budget, and keep moving!

GDC 2010

Nisha Alex

Teachers College, Columbia University

Larry Holland

Totally Games

Matthew Kam

Carnegie Mellon University

free content

Serious Games Summit

Serious Games