ESCoNS 2 conference to discuss education and medical therapy through video games

The ESCoNS 2 conference will convene March 15-17, 2013 at the University of Southern California to study "advancing medicine and education through the use of games," according to a press release from the Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society.

The goal of the conference is to study how, with proper "training," video games could help those afflicted with neuropsychiatric illnesses including autism, schizophrenia, attention deficit disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Through a series of presentations, lectures and panel discussions, ESCoNS 2 participants hope to "combine the neuroscience of brain training with video game technology to target brain dysfunction in any number of human illnesses, creating a whole new and exciting field of 'cognitive neurotherapeutics.'"

The first ESCoNS was held in 2011 and included over 220 attendees. This year's meeting aims to build upon the fledgling field of study with attendees from the medical, scientific, educational and video game industries. It is sponsored by the Rose Family Foundation, an organization founded on the belief that "video game technology will help us understand and solve some of society's most pressing problems in areas such as medicine and education," according to its website.

"We have a major scientific issue that involves one of the greatest frontiers in medicine benefited by products that have already become a household staple — video games," said George Rose, founder of the Rose Family Foundation, former chief legal officer and current senior consultant for public policy and strategy at Activision. "Interactive products have become the new language of younger generations, a way of expression. But games also provide us with a window into interactive cognitive therapies that can address pain, brain dysfunction and other illnesses with dramatic results."

During ESCoNS 2, attendees will discuss topics ranging from learning through interactive software, design principles, video game approaches to various disorders and virtual reality. Those interested in attending can sign up at the official website.

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