Developing a serious game that helps (obese) children adapt to a healthy lifestyle within their everyday life.
The game ‘Challenge Accepted’ is a serious game that supports obese children into changing their behaviour in a fun way. The game challenges children in the real world and is an extension of the obesity coaching program GO! (Gezond Onderweg). The game is currently in development.
A local solution for a global problem
Childhood obesity is stated as ‘one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century’ by the World Health Organization. In fact, 41 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2014; and it is on the rise globally. But what is interesting is that obesity is preventable.
A healthier everyday life
To tackle and prevent obesity, children and their family need to have the right knowledge, tools and environment to stimulate healthy living. The serious-game ‘Challenge Accepted’ supports in creating the right daily balance for children, by implementing small elements of behaviour change into their everyday life and environment.
‘I can do this!’
Obesity is an immense challenge to overcome. Committing to this path of change requires that children feel that they “can do this”.
“Challenge Accepted” achieves this by breaking up the obesity challenge into many bite-sized games, which gives the children a fun way to progress forward. These smaller challenges are split into the categories: Move, Sweat, Eat and Rest.
The mini-games vary from an intense running exercise, to things as impactful as learning a healthy recipe; and children can have fun themselves, with their family members, and peers. By completing mini-games the children can win rewards; in-game and in the real-world.
The game is a positive-reinforcement tool which helps the child to commit to a lifestyle of healthy activities through playful progress and reflection.
‘Hot spots’ can be found outside the house to unlock new challenges and rewards. And after playing many mini-games in the real-world, it is only fitting that the children are rewarded in the real-world! Think of a visit to the local football stadium or a voucher for a healthy meal at a restaurant for the whole family to enjoy. This stimulates a healthy environment for the child.
The game is also a powerful tool for health coaching initiatives. It places the child’s health progress into the experience world of the child, and in this way creates a conversation starter and evaluation tool to discuss progress with the child.
Impact a lifetime
Obesity with children is often a good predictor for obesity later on during adulthood. I believe that impacting a child’s approach to healthier living, will have powerful & lasting effects on a child and his/her environment; for life!