Game Designers Target Child Obesity

Sun, May 23, 2010

Frisky Misc

Video games are largely one of a myriad of entertainment devices that individuals point to as causes for obesity. However, some game designers are banding together to use the power of video games as entertainment to teach children better nutritional habits.

Game designers traveled to George Mason University to partake in a U.S. Department of Agriculture event called “Health Games Challenge”. One such example of the type of game being created is where you play as a flying superhero that dodges junk food like pizza and doughnuts, while snapping up all the broccoli you can find. The key is to try to reach the end of the level with the correct amount of calories.

One of the challenges of making these info-tainment styled games is that they still have to be fun and engaging for the players, something that the designers admit is an issue.

“Usually, everything goes smoothly until you startplaying it and you realize it’s not fun,” Fisher-Lasky, a 24 year-old George Mason game design student said. “You have to spend 60 percent of your time changing what you’ve done because it’s not fun.”

Regardless, it’s good that such games like this exist. Obesity is a major problem with America, driving health care costs through the roof. Educating children on healthy eating habits through the avenues that children are actively engaged in is at the very least a good starting ground.

[via Washington Post]

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Art is a Weekend Editor at Frisky Mongoose focusing on video games and the social media that surrounds them.

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