Games and Simulations for Diabetes Education

WCER Working Paper No. 2011-1

Nathan Patterson, Moses Wolfenstein, Susan Millar, Richard Halverson, and Kurt Squire

February 2011, 22 pp.

ABSTRACT: This paper highlights the thinking of the Education Research Challenge Area (ERCA) of the Morgridge Institute for Research on developing games and simulations for personalized medicine, particularly in the area of diabetes education. Motivating this effort is an increasing need to communicate insights about cutting-edge areas in science, such as personalized medicine and epigenetics. Diabetes is a particularly interesting avenue to explore due to its prevalence and new ways of conceptualizing and treating it as a condition. ERCA’s goal is to address these needs and opportunities by producing digital games for learning that genuinely engage a wide audience. Digital media, such as games for health, have demonstrated success in reaching broad audiences. This paper draws on these precedents to develop (a) a set of design principles to guide the next generation of games for health and (b) a series of hypothetical games for diabetes based on these principles.

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keywords: Diabetes; Games for Learning; Personalized Medicine; Diabetes Education