Archive for February, 2008

Hungry? Let’s play a little game . . .

Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

A stat from ESA confirmed that forty-four percent of most frequent game players say they play games online, up from 31% in 2002. Now-a-days folks are playing interactive games online because it’s accessible, entertaining and educational?!?! Huh?

Not sure if I like their overly dramatic motto - “Fit or Fat? Live or Die? You Decide,” however, as outlined on their website, FatWorld is a video game about the politics of nutrition. It explores the relationships between obesity, nutrition, and socioeconomics in the contemporary U.S. The game’s goal is not to tell people what to eat or how to exercise, but to demonstrate the direct relationships between nutrition and factors like budgets, the physical world, subsidies, and regulations. This game is visually stimulating, colorful and intriguing. I played it on my lunch break yesterday and learned a lot about the foods that regenerate and energize you, so that you don’t become lethargic after lunch.

The website notes that existing approaches to nutrition advocacy fail to communicate the aggregate effect of everyday health practices. It’s one thing to explain that daily exercise and nutrition are important, but people, young and old, have a very hard time wrapping their heads around outcomes five, 10, 50 years away.

Here are some other interesting ESA gaming stats:

  • Thirty percent of most frequent game players are under eighteen years old.
  • Twenty-six percent of most frequent game players are between 18 and 35 years old.

FATWORLD integrates numerous foods, recipes, and meal plans, or players can create their own from the foods in their pantry or their imaginations.

They’ve integrated an encyclopedia of information on the following topics:

  • Nutrition
  • Diets and Meal Plans
  • Exercise
  • Obesity and Other Health Concerns
  • Children’s Nutrition and Health Concerns
  • Just for Kids
  • Food Politics
  • Sources

About FATWORLD: it is the fifth project to emerge from ITVS’s Electric Shadows initiative, a special fund for innovative Web-original projects that offer untold, provocative stories by today’s independent storytellers.

Electric Shadows projects include: OFF THE MAP, the Webby Award-winning site that takes users on a multimedia tour of works by backyard visionary artists; BEYOND THE FIRE which explores the human cost of war through the stories of 15 teenage refugees; FACE TO FACE, connecting the experiences of Japanese Americans in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor with those confronting Arab and Muslim Americans in a post- 9-11 America; and CIRCLE OF STORIES where Native culture bearers guide users through the art, heritage and legacy of the Native American oral tradition. The 2007, the alternate reality game WORLD WITHOUT OIL, created a global oil shock and enlisted the world�s collective imagination to document the crisis with blogs, videos and images.

ITVS Interactive developed a special Electric Shadows call for proposals targeting independent game developers. FATWORLD was the top project selected by a panel of game industry leaders and marks the first online video game funded by ITVS.

All Electric Shadows projects are available online as a special feature of the Independent Lens site at fat.png

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