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XRDC Speaker Q&A: Noah Falstein explores the world of FDA-approved games

XRDC Speaker Q&A: Noah Falstein explores the world of FDA-approved games

August 22, 2018 | By Bryant Francis




As a game developer, Noah Falstein has charted a career that's moved from the classic age of LucasArts game design, to Google's virtual reality projects, to a new field of FDA-approved games meant to be used in the field of medicine. 

At XRDC 2018 this year, Falstein will return to the stage as part of a panel and a talk on the possibilities of VR, AR, and MR for the healthcare industry. If you're curious about how a game designer is approaching the world of medical design, we've reached out to Falstein for a quick Q&A that you can now read below! 

Attend XRDC 2018 to learn about immersive games & entertainment, brand experiences, and innovative use cases across industries.

Tell us about yourself and your work in VR/AR/MR.
I'm working primarily in the overlap of games and health these days, with many clients in the field, including Akili Interactive, Mindmaze, Applied VR, and StoryUp.  Some of those are in XR, some still considering it - medical applications are a hot area for VR in particular as VR has been shown to have strong physical and neurological effects that can be used for treating pain, overcoming phobias and depression, and training caregivers.

Without spoiling it too much, tell us what you’ll be talking about at XRDC.
I'm giving a talk that gives an overview of games/medicine/XR breakthroughs and talks about why and why not VR may be appropriate.  I'm also heading up a panel of experts in the field to give a case-study overview of some of the more interesting work being done in the field.  I'm particularly excited about the range of the panel - treating pain, training caregivers, elevating mood through VR and neurofeedback, researching the neurological impact of VR on learning.

What excites you most about AR/VR/MR?
The more we learn how XR systems interact with the brain, the more we can help health treatments improve AND figure out how to make more effective XR systems, entertainment, and games.

Who would you like to meet at XRDC?
I'm open without preconception, I've found it's a great conference for finding people from very different and sometimes unexpected facets of XR. 

What are some of the current possibilities in the space of games for medicine that you think developers should know about?  
Several companies have received FDA clearance for VR device treatments, and soon there may even be clearance to use games on the same level as pharmaceuticals, which would open up some very exciting new health, business, and creative vistas!

XRDC is happening October 29th and 30th in San Francisco at the Westin St. Francis Hotel. Now that registration is open, you’ll want to look over XRDC passes and prices and register early to get the best deal!

For more information about XRDC, which is produced by organizers of the Game Developers Conference, check out the official XRDC website. You can also subscribe to regular XRDC updates via emailTwitter and Facebook.

Gamasutra, XRDC, and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Americas



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