Video Games, Virtual Worlds

Blogging the NCG workshop: Video Games and Virtual Worlds

Ellen LaPointe, HopeLab
ReMission - a game for teens with cancer. Available on game download sites and at HopeLab. Its free for those with cancer. There are 50,000 copies out there.

How to work with oncologists and game designers? Ask the kids - what do they need to know, what matters to them? What did the kids tell HopeLab - make it real, cover the embarrassing stuff (constipation as side effect)

They also held a randomized study of kids - some get the game, others get Indiana Jones game. Surveyed the kids and took their blood over time. Impact - increased kids' knowledge about cancer, increased self-efficacy, kids took antibiotics more consistently and maintained higher levels of chemo in their blood.

Creating the game is expensive ($2.5 million to develop the game and $3+ million for the research study). It had to be good enough to compete with other video games (not with other cancer treatments).

Susan Tenby, CompuMentor/TechSoup
Started by TechSoup employee participating in SecondLife as a focus group participant. Wanted to create a nonprofit community in SecondLIfe - there are now about 300 active members. Also has a 150+ members in the associated Google group.

Its all volunteers, 2L avatars have donated cash (~$36,469 LindenDollars)

NPSL and TechSoup are the flickr tags for the community.
The NPSL Community is working on:

  • Comprehensive npo directory
  • Central community for npos to network and meet
  • Meetings are every Friday in the TechSoup space in SL at 8:30-10am (PST/SLT)

So far, awareness is really the outcome for NPOs in 2L. Its the same 'stumble upon' factor that helps musicians take advantage of MySpace.

Glitteractica Cookie - Susan's avatar.

This must be a first for foundation staff - SecondLife Demo, talking with avatars on Skype, IM'ing as well.


Beth said...

Hi Lucy:

Great live blogging of the event! I'm curious what the reaction was to SL or some of the questions?

Lucy Bernholz said...

Beth - love your blog. In general the reaction to 2L seemed - stunned amazement. People were having a hard time focusing on Susan - they were watching the screen. There was very little time for questions - 2 people asked Susan about joining the Google group and one had a question about how to get into 2L. I might have missed others.

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