Sometimes, games and the government are capable of doing things together other than antagonising each other. Take the six “Game Jams” going on in two weeks, pairing developers with kids to brainstorm some games that reinforce healthy eating habits.
The IGDA’s collaboration with the US Department of Agriculture is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity. Some $US60,000 in prizes will be up for grabs in the design competitions, which give the teams 48 hours to build a game from scratch. All submissions have to incorporate USDA nutrition data, and motivate kids to eat better and be more physically active.
The Game Jams will be held in Boston, Seattle, Atlanta, Orlando, Fla., San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Albany, NY, and Fairfax, Va. They’ll take place from May 21 to May 23, with IGDA chapters in those cities helping to coordinate the events. Prototypes from the jams will be exhibited at the sixth annual Games for Health conference the following week in Boston, before being refined and submitted to the Apps for Healthy Kids competitions before the June 30 deadline.
Look, are we gonna be the ones building these games? Probably not. Will most gamers want to play them? Well … hey, let’s not say unkind things. But it shows that the games community is capable of participating in positive outreach that reflects well those who build and play games. That’s worth a mention, just as much as the latest games/crime story, or politician dissing games.
IGDA Pitching in to Help Kids Make Healthy Games [Game Politics]