SpaPlay: A Game for Health

Project description: this project aims to develop a novel health-based gamified social media environment called Spa Play(Igniteplay, 2011), designed to engage individuals in day-to-day healthy activities by linking those activities to success in the game. The virtual world is represented by a spa that players build and maintain, striving for a higher ranking. The game will utilize state-of-the-art technology, including smart-phones and physical activity sensors and trackers, to assess real-life and real-time physical activity and food intake, which in addition to traditional game-play activities, will determine progress in the game. The work is built on a partnership between the interdisciplinary research team at Northeastern University and a social media and game company IgnitePlay, and pilot work done over the past year. See: http://www.northeastern.edu/games/games-for-health-spaplay/

Position description: We seek students to work with us in developing analytics techniques to deduce the efficacy of the game and evaluate its effect on health. We are particularly interested in developing a visual analytics system that can automatically collate and visualize network data as well as behavioral data to allow designers to make sense of the motivations and activities in the game. We will use these to measure sustained engagement and allow us to evaluate the game.

Contact: Prof. Magy Seif El-Nasr (magy@neu.edu)