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Winners Announced in HopeLab's Global Competition to Get Kids Moving!
Date:3/17/2008

- More than $300,000 in prizes awarded for new product ideas from around

the world -

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- HopeLab today announced the winners of Ruckus Nation, a global idea competition to get kids moving. The $50,000 grand prize, awarded at an event held at the de Young Museum in San Francisco, went to "Dancing Craze," submitted by Stacy Cho, 30, from Seattle, Wash. People of all ages were invited to submit ideas for new products that will increase physical activity in kids. Ruckus Nation, co-sponsored by the Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, attracted 429 entries from teams in 37 countries and 41 U.S. states.

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"I wake up every day and look for ways to motivate kids," said Cho, a middle school teacher, moments after she was named the grand prize winner. "I looked around at the games kids were playing and realized that the piece that was missing was physical activity. My idea is all about movement and music and fun to get kids moving."

"Dancing Craze" is an interactive game with wearable motion sensors that make your virtual character come alive as you dance. It lets you pick your music, record your moves, and share your virtual dance video online. With "Dancing Craze" you can also create group dances or test your skills by mimicking videos from other players, and log on to the "Dancing Craze" website to see whose moves are voted number one.

Ruckus Nation Grand Prize Judges also recognized "iBlob," submitted by Sarah Tranum, 30, Chicago, Ill., with a special honorary mention and a $5,000 prize.

"Ruckus Nation was a global call for ideas," said HopeLab president and CEO Pat Christen. "New ideas are critical to solving tough problems like increased sedentary behavior and obesity in kids. Ruckus Nation allowed people of all ages to be part of the solution. We're delighted with the results."

HopeLab will now develop prototypes based on the best ideas submitted to Ruckus Nation. Prototypes will be tested to determine their effectiveness and, if successful, turned into products and distributed broadly.

HopeLab's first product, the Re-Mission video game for teens and young adults with cancer, was the first game proven through research to improve health outcomes for young cancer patients.

"We learned from our experience with Re-Mission that if you lead with fun, health will follow," said HopeLab founder and board chair Pamela Omidyar. "Ruckus Nation continues that tradition. HopeLab's commitment to quality research and innovation will ensure that the creative thinking put forward in Ruckus Nation is put to great use to help kids."

Paul Tarini, RWJF senior program officer, explained, "The Pioneer Portfolio supports innovative ideas and projects like Ruckus Nation that may lead to important breakthroughs in health and health care. Ruckus Nation demonstrates the power of competitions to spark new thinking, tap the ingenuity of the end-user population, and generate cutting-edge solutions to important health challenges."

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 http://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 http://www.rwjf.org .


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SOURCE HopeLab
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