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.