HopeLab Raises A Ruckus To Get Kids Moving! Winners Announced!

hope-lab-logo.jpgThe good news is, Pamela Omidyar’s HopeLab just announced the winners of Ruckus Nation, a global idea competition to get kids moving with physical activity. Bad news is, we were too busy implementing our programs that we didn’t have time to apply!

Shaping Youth may be short-handed on the time/funding front, but we’re big on pioneering ideas, and this is the type worthy of celebration!

HopeLab & RWJF raised a ruckus by co-sponsoring a global call for innovation, turning it into an event focusing on fresh ideas, and attracting 429 entries from teams in 37 countries and 41 U.S. states with the hope of making it into their R&D prototype stage! Smart. Very smart.

Seattle middle school teacher Stacy Cho, 30 snagged the $50,000 grand prize & $25K category winner purse for her interactive game “Dancing Craze” with wearable motion sensors enabling kids’ avatars (virtual characters) to come alive and boogie.

Dancing Craze “lets you pick your music, record your moves, and share your virtual dance video online…you can also create group dances or test your skills by mimicking videos from other players, and log on to the website to see whose moves are voted number one.” Almost sounds ripe for a poll-participant UGC contest within the virtual world dance parties of Teen Second Life…Hmn…maybe they could team up and get those teens shakin’ and movin’ from the sedentary screen, too?

As a branding gal, ‘dancing craze’ needs a name with market differentiation; I’d sure love to help, HopeLab…give me a call! 😉 This is exactly what we mean at Shaping Youth by “using the power of media for positive change”…Brava!

iblob_art.gifThe distinguished panel of Grand Prize Judges also honored iBlob,” (our youth advisors would LOVE this for breaks!) with a $5,000 stipend, vaulting it into the leading round-up of R&D prototypes which HopeLab will test for product potential, and if effective, launch into full scale distribution.

To me, ‘what happens to the ideas’ is where the value comes into play for participation.

In media/screenplay terms, it’s like an opportunity to be ‘optioned’ where HopeLab pays a small fee ($250) for non-exclusive R&D rights to forty or so top ideas in order to test/develop and perhaps pursue the ideas prior to any ‘greenlight’ phase.

Fabulous example of using innovation for education to tap into youth creativity and do good things with media and marketing!

re-mission.jpgHopeLab’s Re-Mission site and video game for teens and young adults with cancer, was the first game proven through research to improve health outcomes for young cancer patients, so they have a solid ‘proof of concept’ premise that narrowcasting talent with a common purpose and hands-on knowledge of a core demographic leads directly to results. Inspiring!

I’ll be adding this to my workshop at CCFC 4/4 on solution-based methods for using the influential power of media…Love it!

ruckus-nation.jpgMuch like our Shaping Youth philosophy ditches ‘preach-n-teach’ methods to flip media and marketing into a favorable, productive sphere of influence, HopeLab founder and board chair Pamela Omidyar said, “We learned from our experience with Re-Mission that if you lead with fun, health will follow…Ruckus Nation continues that tradition.”

Yep. We’ve proved the same thing using our ‘reality show’ twists and hands-on games to demo and engage kids with media literacy, life skills and behavioral choices…

Here are the rest of the winners and links listed below, taken directly from their co-branded release…

Ruckus Nation Winners

Ten winners in the competition’s four age-based categories were announced at the Ruckus Nation grand prize event. Each team will receive a $25,000 prize. The grand prize winner will receive an additional $50,000, for a total grand prize of $75,000.

The other nine category winners are:

Category: Middle School

Dynamic Drums: A videogame with an interactive floor mat where movement creates music. On-screen images guide you to tap your toes, stomp your feet and dance around to activate bongos, snares and other percussion sounds. Memorize sequences, stay with the tempo and get moving to win! Submitted by Thomas Freeman and Wesley Zeng, Presque Isle, Maine.

GO! WATCH: A wristwatch with a built-in pedometer that counts your every hop, skip and jump and encourages movement by offering a variety of rewards. Set your own goals and achieve them to access songs, games and other rewards online. Plus, you can wear it anywhere for round-the-clock fun. Ready, set GO! WATCH! Submitted by Landon Pauls, Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Txt It!: A videogame with a cell-phone keypad floor mat that challenges you to type with your toes. On-screen word games require fast footwork on the mat, or you can connect the Txt It! pad to your phone for a crazy new twist on texting that keeps more than your fingers moving! Submitted by Molly Casey, Denver, Colorado.

Category: High School

Ionic Motion: An interactive video game that captures your moves as you dance to your favorite music. Wear wireless motion sensors and step on the interactive pad to upload a dance and show off your signature style. With Ionic Motion, you can challenge others to a virtual dance-off or just learn a few new tricks. Get up and get down! Submitted by Sophia Hibbs and Erving Otero, Hollywood, Florida.

MoovDisk: It’s tag with a high-tech twist! In MoovDisk, a roving console drops LED-lit disks in a playing field. Race to tag each disk in teams or on your own, then upload and track your scores online to compete with others. MoovDisk has multiple speeds and playing modes, and each one encourages you to get out, have fun, and get Moov-ing! Submitted by Anthony Bakshi, Moyukh Chatterjee, Jeff Hart, Lahiru Mudalige and Matthew Warshauer; Morganville, New Jersey.

Category: College/University

iBlob: A new way to play, away from the constraints of a TV, computer, console, or game pad. iBlob is an amorphous, fun-to-squish object that incorporates interactive lights and wireless music to get you moving. You can dance, play tag or just toss the iBlob using various game modes, whether you’re at the beach, at home, by yourself or with the whole neighborhood. Submitted by Sarah Tranum, Chicago, Illinois.

Rhythm Rope: Skip to the beat with this simple but innovative update on an old-school favorite. The Rhythm Rope jump rope plays music and lights up in different colors as you keep time with a song — green when you’ve got it going on, red when you’re out of whack. Slow or fast, every tune presents a new challenge that keeps you moving. Submitted by Bryson Lovett, Los Angeles, California.

Scoot: An interactive game device that plays your music and projects colored lights to create a new experience every time you play. With Scoot, you can compete with friends in a flashy version of high-energy musical chairs or just turn up the music and move. It’s a game and a mobile dance party all in one! Submitted by David Ngo, Palo Alto, California.

Category: Other

Honeycomb: A fast-paced game of strategy and reflexes that combines a force-sensitive floor mat, a wireless heart-rate sensor, and puzzle-based game play. Honeycomb follows in the footsteps of classic games, with an exciting new twist: the speed of the game adapts to your heart rate. Plus you can post your scores online to compete with others. Submitted by Ben Stewart, Maroubra, Australia.

About HopeLab

HopeLab, founded in 2001 by Pamela Omidyar, is a non-profit organization committed to combining rigorous research with innovative solutions to improve the health and quality of life of young people with chronic illness. HopeLab introduced its first product, the Re-Mission video game for adolescents and young adults with cancer, in 2006. Re-Mission was developed with the input of young people with cancer and was shown in a randomized, controlled research trial to improve key health outcomes among young people with cancer who played the game. HopeLab is now applying its customer-focused, research-based approach to develop new interventions for young people suffering from chronic illness. For more information, visit www.hopelab.org.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. The Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative ideas and projects that may trigger important breakthroughs in health and health care. Projects in the Pioneer Portfolio are typically future-oriented and look beyond conventional thinking to explore solutions at the cutting edge of health and health care. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.



  1. Great news on HopeLab outcomes for their ReMission cancer game for kids as seen on the EduGames Blog here!!!


    Congrats to the HopeLab crew for great work…

    Pediatric Journal results: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/122/2/e305

    And a fascinating post n the PCW blog about changing our biology altogether, via gaming, fyi:


  2. Ugh, I still have yet to cover the Gaming in Health landscape but you are doing a FANTASTIC job Amy! Hopefully by jumping back into public health full time will afford me even greater focus – stay tuned for some better content and new design on Pulse + Signal!

Speak Your Mind