TRENDSPOT: SXSW “What Does Guitar Hero Have to Do With Your Health?”

By | 2016-11-04T16:58:02+00:00 September 11, 2013|JUICE TRENDSPOT, Viewpoints|

In this episode of JUICE TRENDSPOT, Alec Pollak discusses how gamification can lead to more engagement and better health outcomes, as presented at SXSW 2013.

Using core strategies of gaming, like competition, task-setting, and rewarding accomplishments, platforms like Nadeem Kassam’s Basis Science are engaging consumers in improving their own health. And one of the creators of Guitar Hero, Kai Huang, is preparing to launch Blue Goji, a platform that will “transform the cardio exercise experience through immersive gameplay.”

As Pollak describes, gamification doesn’t necessarily mean turning something into a game; rather, it means borrowing aspects of gaming and applying them elsewhere. For example, in gaming, players receive nearly instantaneous feedback, whether for success or failure. In the physical world of health care, feedback traditionally comes slowly (eg, test results, effects of medication).

For Kassam and Huang, advanced technologies like the Basis band and smartphones are a gateway to wellness, allowing the consumer to know more—so they can do more.

Trend: Video Games Teach Us How to Improve Our Health

This JUICE TRENDSPOT episode features: Alec Pollak, VP, Director of User Experience for JUICE Pharma Worldwide

For more information:

SXSW Description: What Does Guitar Hero Have to Do With Your Health?

Presenters: Kai Huang, Co-Founder, Blue Goji, and Nadeem Kassam, Founder, Basic Science Inc.

Session Details: Everyone wants to get healthier. New solutions arrive daily. Yet the challenge isn’t getting people to try new things and start new habits but getting them to
stick with them. A new generation of hardware and software solutions are tackling this problem by integrating gamification, socialization and habit-design mechanics into their platforms to, create ongoing engagement. The founders of two start-ups who are tackling this problem in two fundamentally different ways will chat with each other about their approaches. Nadeem Kassam, founder of Basis (, is building healthy behaviors through the integration of habit design into a hardware and software solution. Kai Huang of Guitar Hero fame has founded a new start-up, Blue Goji (, to tackle the problem through a software-based gamification approach. Hear their lessons learned and how their companies could influence one of the most critical issues of our time: the nation’s health.


About the Author:

Ben Putman
SVP, Creative Technology and Innovation

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