Fatworld - get fat, stay healthy or die, its all up to you in Fatworld.

Congratulations! This Entry has been selected as a finalist.

Fatworld - get fat, stay healthy or die, its all up to you in Fatworld.

United States
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Fatworld is a game about the politics of nutrition. It explores the relationships between obesity, nutrition, and socioeconomics in the contemporary U.S.

About You
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Your idea
Year work began:


Focus of activity


YouTube Upload

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Plot your innovation within the mosaic of solutions
Which of these barriers is the primary focus of your work?

Dual Stigma

Which of the principles is the primary focus of your work?

Physical Health

If you believe some other barrier or principle should be included in the mosaic, please describe it and how it would affect the positioning of your initiative in the mosaic:

This field has not been completed

What is your signature innovation in one sentence?

Fatworld is a game about the politics of nutrition. It explores the relationships between obesity, nutrition, and socioeconomics in the contemporary U.S.

Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?

We believe Fatworld is a groundbreaking game both from a subject and gameplay standpoint. n Fatworld, you create a world, design a character, and live out an accelerated life in that world. You'll have to construct menus and recipes, decide what to eat and what to avoid, exercise (or not), and run a restaurant business to serve the rest of your town.
By choosing your character’s dietary and exercise habits, you can experiment with the constraints of nutrition and economics as they affect your character's general health. Will it be wheatgrass and soy? Or fried chicken at every meal? How much can you afford to spend on food, and how does that affect your general health?

As a Fatworld inhabitant, you can choose starting weights and health conditions, including predispositions towards ailments like diabetes, heart disease, or food allergies. You can design your daily meal plan, choosing from hundreds of ingredients and recipes that ship with the game, or you can build your own from scratch and share them with friends online. Then you can exercise by walking around or playing a variety of exercise minigames. Or you can influence public policy by visiting the Govern-O-Mat, or try to get a glimpse into your own character's health -- if you can afford it -- at the Health-O-Mat.

What barriers exist that are creating the problem your innovation is hoping to address/change?

We believe there is a pandemic of obesity in the United states and that the primary reason for this is the politics of food and nutrition. Games are often blamed as part of the problem, however; in Fatworld we hope to generate real discussions about the nutritional value of food and how food choices are often a byproduct of your socioeconomic status. The ultimate goal of Fatworld is to generate a discussion around these issues.

Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing.

Our game will be offered for free as a web downloadable and available through our partner web sites. As of today, our game has already been featured and discussed on NPR, Wired Magazine, and The Cobert Report.

How do you plan to scale your innovation?

The game includes the opportunity for players to upload their recipes and share with anyone interested on line through the Fatworld Exchange.

Provide one sentence describing your impact.

Our game is to be released in January 2008.

What impact has your innovation had to date? Exactly who are the beneficiaries of your innovation?

None as of yet.

How many people have you served directly?


How many people have you served indirectly?


Please list any other measures reflective of the impact of your innovation

We plan to do studies around the game, focus groups, and the impact/response of the online game community at large.

What are the main barriers to creating your impact?


How is your initiative financed?

Fatworld is a PBS / Independent Lens Web-exclusive presentation of an Electric Shadows project presented by ITVS Interactive and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Provide information on your finances and organization: annual budget, annual revenue, number of staff:

We are a private company and do not disclose our finacials. We have offices in Atlanta, GA, Scottsdale, AZ, and Buenos Aires Argentina. Our Fatworld team was made up of 5 full time employees.

What is the potential demand for your innovation?


What are the main barriers to financial sustainability?


The Story
What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.

We design, build, and distribute electronic games for persuasion, instruction, and activism.

Our games influence players to take action through gameplay. Games communicate differently than other media; they not only deliver messages, but also simulate experiences. While often thought to be just a leisure activity, games can also become rhetorical tools.

All of our games challenge the status quo of what is possible in gaming. Fatworld is no different.

Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material

Ian Bogost, Ph.D. - Founding Partner, Game Design
Dr. Ian Bogost is a videogame designer, critic, and researcher. He is Assistant Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. His research and writing considers videogames as an expressive medium, and his creative practice focuses on games about social and political issues.

How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)

Word of mouth.