For many parents, the struggle to teach kids about balance, health, and video games can often be an uphill battle, but one game is about to change the modern landscape. Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have recently decided to test out a new videogame, which can help children learn more about developing a healthy lifestyle. As first reported by ECN Mag, a team of researchers has partnered with FriendsLearn, a Silicon Valley-based startup who is also the mastermind team behind a mobile game called Fooya. Affectionately dubbed as, the “World’s Epic Food Fight” game, the educational background behind the game helps teach players about health, wellness, and nutritional habits.
The rate of childhood obesity has been increasing rapidly worldwide, with statistics skyrocketing over the past several years in the United States. According to the CDC, nearly one in five children between the ages of 6 to 19 years old are classified as being obese. In an effort to combat these hardships, the team at FriendsLearn has strived to help educate children about the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. By offering educational themes through video games, the company has a mission to redefine traditional notions of sedentary behavior and gaming habits—and also to teach kids about making healthy food choices.
Rema Padman, a Professor of Management Science and Healthcare at Carnegie Mellon University, has studied the effects of children’s eating habits and playing the mobile game, Fooya. Researchers found that when compared to a control group, the children who played Fooya actually yielded a statistically significant difference with their real-life food choices.
With Fooya, players can choose their characters and challenge evil robots with weapons based on food items. In the game, the robots continuously attempt to destroy the player’s health. For added health-conscious approach, children effectively “burn calories” and work towards dodging unhealthy foods that are thrown their way by the robots. In return, enemies can only be defeated by throwing food items back at them. By using AI, Fooya aims to spread information and knowledge about cardiovascular disease prevention. Interestingly enough, this rising technological trend, known as digital vaccines, is supported by research from neuroscience, cognitive science, and in collaboration with new VR technology. While this game is still in the early stages, it appears as though educational video games and digital vaccines are proving to be a promising trend for promoting a healthy lifestyle for children.
What do you think of this educational videogame for children? Let us know in the comments!