A New Generation of Cognitive Neurotherapeutics (3/31/2013)

The Second Annual Conference of the Entertainment Software and Cognitive Neurotherapeutics Society (ESCONS) was hosted by the USC School of Cinematic Arts on March 15-17, 2013 in Los Angeles, CA. We are proud to report that CM&BHC students and alumni were omnipresent at this venue, which was attended by over 230 people from academia, industry and government.

MFA candidate Xuan Li, won Best Software Demo for his thesis project, Blowing Blues, an interactive application for building player’s “immunity” against anxiety and negative emotions. The application uses breath-based interaction inspired by neuroscience, psychology and games to help players cope with their inner “enemies”.  Xuan, who also apprenticed with theMxR Lab while an Annenberg Fellow, used the open-source Socket HMD for the stereoscopy-enhanced version of his demo. MFA Candidate Yasaman Hashemian demoed a sneak peak of prototypes for her thesis project Adventurous Dreaming High-Flying Dragon, a full-body interactive game experience for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and presented a peer-reviewed poster. This project is produced by MFA ’12 alumna and former CM&BHC consultant, Dai Yun. MFA ’12 alumna Erin Reynolds demoed and presented a peer-reviewed poster on Nevermind, a psychological horror puzzle game that utilizes biofeedback and challenges the player to stay calm in uncomfortable situations. MFA Candidate Jason Mathias presented Covalence, an education game for teaching organic chemistry to college students. CM&BHC’s Marientina Gotsis, Vangelis Lympouridis and Fotos Frangoudes demoed a prototype version of Skyfarer, an upper shoulder exercise game designed for individuals aging with disability.

The SCA Interactive Media & Games Division (IMGD) and the Game Innovation Lab hosted the event at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, which included talks presented by ESCONS co-organizer Laird Malamed, division chair Tracy Fullerton, CM&BHC director Marientina Gotsis and professor Dennis Wixon. For more information on ESCONS, visit http://www.escons.org/.