Casual Gamers Connecting in Seattle

The Casual Games Association is visiting Seattle later this month for Casual Connect Seattle 2008. The three day conference takes place at the Benaroya Hall from July 23 – 25th and promises to unite over 3,000 professionals in the Casual Gaming space. Casual Connect is the educational component of the Casual Games Association, the international trade association for casual games professionals. Casual Connect encompasses online news, a regular magazine and yearly conference series in Kyiv, Europe and Seattle.

Casual Connect’s sponsor roster is the who’s who of casual gaming worldwide and includes Vancouver’s FitBrains, a start-up we have profiled on Techvibes before. Casual gaming have been newsworthy of late and the Vancouver Sun’s Marke Andrews tagged FitBrains creator Vivity Labs as ahead of the curve in a feature story yesterday.

With mostly private money (from five hi-tech industry investors) and some public funds (Telefilm Canada, Industrial Research Assistance Program) behind it, Vivity Labs seeks to replicate the success of Nintendo’s popular Brain Age game, which is also aimed at greying boomers and seniors, and Electronic Arts’ Pogo, a game popular with boomer women. The company’s partners include Vancouver’s Michael Cole, who’s worked in the brain fitness field for the past seven years; Dr. Paul Nussbaum, an American clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in aging; and Mark Baxter, a Vancouver games developer.

While I’m not a gamer, I’m very impressed with the quality of the brain games that FitBrains is producing right here in Vancouver.