SEPT. 26, 2013 – The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Health Game Jam hosted by SPSU’s School of Computing and Software Engineering on campus Sept. 20-22 drew approximately 300 gaming enthusiasts. The event may have broken the record for participation in a U.S. game jam, according to Dr. Jon Preston, program coordinator for the university’s computer game design and development degree.
Fox 5 News was on hand as 75 teams of students and non-students labored throughout the weekend to design, program and test both board and computer games that educate players about health issues. A video clip of the coverage can be viewed by clicking on Fox 5 News.
By the conclusion of the jam, 32 new games had been created with support from CDC experts. The games highlighted issues related to food-borne pathogens, teen pregnancy, HIV prevention, vaccines, antibiotics and other health topics. A panel of judges selected five of these games to be furtherimproved and demonstrated in Atlanta on Fri., Oct. 4, during Games for Health Day, part of the seventh annual Southern Interactive Entertainment and Game Expo hosted by the Georgia Game Developers Association.
On this day, professional game developers and health-oriented developers/investors will choose one of the five finalist Game Jam games to be groomed for release in December, and the team that developed it will be offered a four-week fully paid internship at the CDC to learn more about public health and the federal government, and to ready the game for release under the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Games for Health Project.