Virtual world and Gaming for Health Professionals

Monday 8 November 2010

6.00pm for 6.30pm

BCS, Southampton Street, London | Map and directions

Nigel Newbutt University of Greenwich, Mick Donegan, SMARTlab, UEL, Dave Taylor, Imperial College London, and Alice Taylor, Commissioning Editor, Education for Channel 4.

Nigel Newbutt will present a brief overview of assistive technologies: virtual environments for people with autism. This will include an analysis of VEs that have been developed with the specific aim for users with autism. Within this talk a very brief overview of what autism is will be presented, and some of the advantages and issues that surround the development and use of VEs for users with autism.

Nigel Newbutt is the Programme Leader of BSc. Animation and Digital Production, at University of Greenwich, and a Senior Lecturer. He is completing a PhD at UEL on the use of virtual worlds for people with autism. His work has taken him into the classroom (into a specialist school in Surrey), and is in the process of developing tasks in a VW for social skills and communication training (for children with autism). Nigel has worked in 3D and Digital Media industries and worked developing tools for people with disabilities.

Mick Donegan will present on the use of computer technology for people with ‘locked in syndrome’. This will include an overview of assistive technology for people with communication difficulties and how existing and new technologies can help people with physical disabilities.

Mick Donegan is the Deputy Academic Director (Principal Researcher, Multimodal Interfaces and Assistive Tech), and the head of a new research group on Interfaces for Assistive Technology & Creativity at the SMARTlab, UEL. He is a teacher and an Assistive Technology specialist who has extensive experience in assessing, teaching, training, and supporting people with complex communication difficulties. Prior to joining SMARTlab, he worked at The ACE Centre, Oxford, following his time as IT Coordinator and Deputy Head Teacher at Wilson Stuart Special School, one of the largest schools for physically disabled children in the UK. He has founded a charity, SpecialEffect, that uses technology to enhance access to games and creative self-expression for people with a wide range of disabilities.

Dave Taylor will present Virtual world experiences for doctors, healthcare workers and patients. In his presentation Dave will show and explain some of the many uses of game and animation technology used in leading edge healthcare projects, from machinima created to show poly clinics to live online virtual world experiences to help prepare patients for hospital situations and also to evaluate doctors training.

Dave Taylor leads a new unit at Imperial College London developing the use of Virtual Worlds for Healthcare. He previously set up and ran the UK National Physical Laboratory’s Virtual Worlds business area. He is a founder of the SciLands, a Second Life continent for Science and Technology, that has grown from 5 islands in 2006 to over 65 in 2009 and have created many virtual world projects that deliver real world benefits.
Dave has a track record of successful projects and products based on emerging and best practices in Virtual Worlds, Web 2.0, New Media, Software Products and 'Serious Games'.
Prior to Web 2.0 he was Vice President of Global Web for a leading multinational. Before Web 1.0 he managed Letraset’s European Software business, working with Adobe Systems, Pixar and Apple Computer where he developed an award-winning graphics software product.

Alice Taylor will present How Channel 4 has commissioned a multitude of games and experiences to engage a teenage audience and combine entertainment with serious messages around sexual and mental health, hygiene during a flu epidemic, and many more. Alice has case studies and some different approaches to the goals of a game related project to share. Showing the use of relatively inexpensive game techniques and the power of the web to distribute those and how that matches up against traditional TV broadcasting of similar types of educational message.

Alice Taylor is Commissioning Editor, Education for Channel 4, where she is developing a number of informal learning projects involving ARGs, casual gaming and other interactive entertainment formats. Before this, she was the Vice President of Digital Content for BBC Worldwide[1]. In September 2006 she was named one of the Game Industry's 100 Most Influential Women by Next Generation Magazine Online. She founded and edits the blog Wonderland.
In 1997, she was defense on the first UK Quake team, and a member of the UK's Demonic Core clan. In September 2002 she was an exhibit in theGame On exhibition at the Barbican, and featured in the accompanying book, Game On: The History and Culture of Video Games.

Presentation Nigel Newbutt (PDF)