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13. Behavior-Change Gaming & Habit Design - Michael Kim (Kairos Labs) at Models for Change '11

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Uploaded on Dec 1, 2011

Behavior-Change Gaming
Gamification was mentioned in passing prior to his talk, but Michael Kim's presentation was the first to focus exclusively on health and gaming. As an entrepreneur and head of a new Seattle-based company, Kairos Labs, Kim's talk centered on his company's efforts to launch "behavior-change gaming", a sub-genre of the Serious Games genre. "These are games that apply behavior change and cognitive behavioral psychology in order to affect self-development," says Kim. Kim's approach to wellness game design borrows from the tenets of long time Positive Psychology creator and proponent, Martin Seligman, whose work on 'flourishing' has been getting increasing attention in the wellness community. According to Kim, the games are framed around Seligman's concepts of positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and achievement (PERMA). In terms of keeping people engaged, games, in general, work at a neurological level to release chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine and eustress that provide both motivation and reward. Kim also emphasized the importance of these games being social in play mechanics, not something you do just by yourself. According to Kim, "if we really want to make a dramatic change in health [through gaming], then it needs to be multi-player."

Kim's talk was given at Consumer-Centric Health: MODELS FOR CHANGE '11, a conference that featured more than 20 presentations on all facets of health behavior change. The presenters represented diverse fields of medicine, employer health, mobile technology, health insurance, gaming, public health, research, and anthropology. The 1½ day conference, held at Seattle University in Seattle, Washington, began with an opening keynote on Oct 12, with the main sessions on Oct 13, divided into three sections (1) WHAT'S WORKING IN BEHAVIOR CHANGE; (2) HOW TO SCALE BEHAVIOR CHANGE; and (3) WHAT ELSE IS NEEDED TO MAKE BEHAVIOR CHANGE MORE EFFECTIVE AND SUSTAINABLE.

Models for Change '11 was convened by Health Innoventions with support from Bastyr University's Center for Health Policy & Leadership and Seattle University's Organization Systems Renewal Program.

Health Innoventions (http://www.healthinnoventions.org) is a non profit that serves the public good by promoting the translation and dissemination of actionable consumer-centric information to support health-enhancing programs, technology and policy.

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