Monday, July 13, 2009

HopeLab 2.0: Re-Mission & Virtual Heroes Tackle Cancer Together (#G4H09 Wrap-up)


I finally got a chance to meet Richard Tate (right in photo) of HopeLab, a non-profit organization that aims to "improve the health and quality of life of young people with chronic illness', is teaming up with online virtual world creator Virtual Heroes to produce Re-Mission 2.0. Listen also to how their physical activity monitor, GDitty, is going through a second phase of testing.


June 11, 2009

HopeLab and Virtual Heroes Team Up to Create Next Version of Re-Mission™ Video Game for Teens with Cancer

Project funded in part by Vivendi, the Annenberg Foundation and
the Lance Armstrong Foundation

Boston, June 11, 2009 — HopeLab and Virtual Heroes today announced a collaboration to develop the next version of the breakthrough Re-Mission™ video game for young cancer patients. The project is funded in part by HopeLab partners Vivendi, the Annenberg Foundation, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

“Re-Mission has proven that strategically designed video games can be powerful tools in healthcare,” said Fred Dillon, director of product development at HopeLab. “We’re delighted to be working with Virtual Heroes to create a new version that is even more fun and engaging and that amplifies the game’s positive health impact for young people with cancer.”

“Virtual Heroes is honored to have been selected by HopeLab for this project,” said Jerry Heneghan, Managing Director, Virtual Heroes. “Our collaboration on the next Re-Mission video game will be both a creative challenge and an exciting opportunity to develop a fun, biologically-based game that works to improve the health of young cancer patients.”

HopeLab has contracted with game developer Virtual Heroes to create a new version of Re-Mission that incorporates insights from research and direct feedback from young cancer patients collected since the 2006 release of the original game. The announcement was made at the Games for Health Conference being held June 11 – 12 in Boston. At the conference, HopeLab also will be presenting a session titled “Creating Games That Work.” The session offers insight into the highly iterative, customer-focused, research-based process for health games development pioneered by HopeLab. This process and its results have been documented in the medical journal Pediatrics and in the International Journal of Learning and Media. 1,2 The conference session will also highlight the importance of strategic partnerships in these efforts.

1 Kato, P.M., Cole, S.W., Bradlyn, A.S., Pollock, B.H. (2008). A Video Game Improves Behavioral Outcomes in Adolescents and Young Adults With Cancer: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics, 122: e305-e317.

2 Tate, R., Haritatos, J., Cole, S. HopeLab’s Approach to Re-Mission. International Journal of Learning and Media; 2009 1(1): 29-35.

About the Re-Mission™ Video Game

Re-Mission™ combines biologic accuracy with an honest depiction of the challenges faced by young cancer patients. Through fun, interactive game play, Re-Mission illustrates what occurs inside the bodies of young cancer patients and how they can most effectively fight their disease. Results from the largest randomized, controlled study of a video game intervention ever conducted showed that playing Re-Mission improved treatment adherence and boosted cancer knowledge and self-efficacy in teen and young adult cancer patients.

HopeLab has distributed more than 142,000 free copies of Re-Mission in 81 countries worldwide since its release in April 2006. Re-Mission is available to download or order online at www.re-mission.net. Re-Mission is also distributed through partnerships with organizations that support HopeLab’s commitment to provide Re-Mission free of charge to young cancer patients, including CIGNA HealthCare, the ESA Foundation, and Starlight Children’s Foundation. Re-Mission is rated T (Teen) by the Entertainment Software Ratings Board. Development of a new version of Re-Mission is currently underway and is sponsored in part by Vivendi , the Annenberg Foundation, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

About HopeLab

HopeLab is a non-profit organization founded in 2001 by Board Chair Pam Omidyar. HopeLab combines rigorous research with innovative solutions to improve the health and quality of life of young people living with chronic illness. HopeLab applies a research-based, customer-focused development model to create products that address chronic illnesses in young people, including cancer, obesity, major depressive disorder, sickle cell disease and autism. For more information, please visit www.hopelab.org.

About Virtual Heroes

Virtual Heroes, a division of Applied Research Associates Inc. creates Advanced Learning Technology (A.L.T.) solutions for the Healthcare, Federal Systems and Commercial markets. These collaborative, interactive learning solutions leverage simulation and digital game-based paradigms to accelerate learning, increase proficiency and reduce costs. Virtual Heroes applications facilitate highly interactive, self-paced learning and instructor-led, distributed team training on the Virtual Heroes (A.L.T.) platform using the Unreal® Engine 3 by Epic Games. Virtual Heroes’ many accomplishments include work on America’s Army®, Pamoja Mtaani™, Hilton Ultimate Team Play™, VirtualPeace™, 3DiTeams™, Zero Hour: America’s Medic™ and the upcoming official NASA game: Astronaut: Moon, Mars & Beyond™. Virtual Heroes is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. For more information, please visit www.virtualheroes.com and www.ara.com.

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