Ben Sawyer - United Kingdom
Ben Sawyer , President and Founder , Digitalmill and Games for Health
Ben Sawyer is the co-founder of Digitalmill, a games consulting firm based in Portland, Maine. Since beginning his career in game development over twelve years ago, Mr. Sawyer has pioneered major initiatives in the field of serious games and has become an internationally recognized leader within the games community.
In 2002, Mr. Sawyer co-founded the Serious Games Initiative, a project of the U.S. Government's Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. The following year, he organized the first-ever Serious Games Summit – a conference which now attracts 300-500 attendees annually, who meet to share best practices in the development of serious games.
In 2004, Mr. Sawyer also co-founded the Games for Health project, an initiative which has built the primary social and professional networks of the health games industry.
Through on-line resources and regular regional and national events, Games for Health connects health professionals, researchers, and game developers in order to advance the development of health games and game technologies. The Games for Health project receives major funding from the Pioneer Portfolio, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
In 2011 Mr. Sawyer began collaborating with the Yale School of Medicine on a game-oriented intervention for HIV prevention in at-risk youth. Titled, “PlayForward: Elm City Stories” the game is based off original design structures developed with Yale by Digitalmill.
In 2012 Games for Health began a new effort looking specifically about how to use targeted investments in games to help support a new public health model strengthened by videogames and their ability to potentially generate positive health assets in broad swaths of populations.
Prior to pursuing his professional career, Mr. Sawyer graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and studied at Baruch College in New York City. He currently resides in Freeport, ME with his wife and two young sons -- both avid gamers.