It seems that everyday you can log onto the Internet and see articles referring to a scientific study from somewhere around the globe. Some of these studies are done by private research companies, others are by governments, many are done by universities, and sometimes there’s a mix of all three. When professionals read these studies, they pay close attention to the scientific methods and procedures that were used. Most prominent health journals have peer review boards that decide if an article is good enough for publication. Archimage has been a leader in nutrition and health game research for over 10 years years. Results of their work have been published in numerous national and international peer-reviewed scientific journals. For a short list, search Pubmed, an online database of scientific and biomedical journals, for Archimage and Playnormous’ president Richard Buday (a frequent co-author).
A good example of this appeared in Public Health Nutrition in 2010. A team from Baylor College of Medicine and Archimage collaborated to find the best method to visually teach children how to estimate food portions. Children aged 8 to 13 were asked to guess the portion size of 16 food models by matching them to the correct photo. They were shown food images of varying portion sizes. Some children were tested using size cues like utensils or a checked tablecloth placed in the photo as hints. Some were shown each portion photo one at a time; and some were shown all of their photo choices on one page ranging in size from small to large.
In the end, results showed that children made correct food model portion matches with the photos 60% of the time. The way the photos were displayed did not affect accuracy, but choosing from the full page of photo options was 50% faster than viewing them one at a time.
So, if you are planning to teach children how to estimate portion sizes of food photography, presently the most efficient way to is to show them all of their size options at once. Using this method, they will be correct about 60% of the time with this method.
Archimage is very interested and committed to quality research on the best ways to improve childhood nutrition and physical activity behavior. Check the Playnormous Blog often to read the latest nutrition research news. Teachers and parents can use these reviews to help guide their class methods and their application at home.
I first started receiving Casual Connect Magazine about two years ago. They released a market report in 2007 which just blew me away, basically summarizing everything I needed to know as a newbie in the video games industry. Since then, there is nothing I look forward to more than my quarterly Casual Connect Magazine with its colorful cover, valuable insight, and impressive one page ads.
I was inspired to join the pool of authors for an upcoming issue when I came across the 2009 Winter edition. In it was an article entitled “Creating Games to Promote Social Change” by Michael Sorrenti which detailed his experience creating a game on Hurricane Katrina and disaster readiness called Tempest in Crescent City. It was the first one, to my recollection, that even touched on serious games. I emailed the editor, Jessica Tams, to see if by some stroke of good luck games for health were indeed of interest to the magazine. Low and behold, Jessica forwarded my email to the powers that be and voila! I was submitting!
I couldn’t be happier with how the article came out and have already received some nice comments from folks like Judy Shasek of Footgaming who was inspired to update her teachers page after reading it. So without further ado, the debut of Playnormous in Casual Connect Magazine in an article entitled “Using Gameplay Science to Change Lives.” In this article you’ll learn all about:
Casual Connect Magazine is a publication of the Casual Games Association, an international organization of more than 4,000 gaming executives, publishers, and developers. The Casual Games Association is dedicated to promoting casual games for general consumers and providing educational resources for those in the industry. If you have a question about casual games, visit their website and you won’t be disappointed.
As many of you already know, Playnormous is a project that takes our experience making health games and media-based research projects and uses that experience to bring you fun games designed to inspire better health. One of our major learning experiences was creating two large multi-million dollar NIH-funded videogames for health, Escape from Diab and Nanoswarm: Invasion From Inner Space.
Today the novel Nanoswarm: Invasion From Inner Space was published, a work based on our experience-building game of the same name. Nanoswarm is a first person sci-fi adventure in healthy eating and exercise. The game is designed to change nutrition and physical activity behaviors in children for the prevention of obesity and type 2 diabetes. The book is co-authored by none other than Playnormous VP Richard Buday!
Archimage, developers of Nanoswarm: Invasion From Inner Space, decided to release the book for publication so the story can be enjoyed while the public awaits the clinical trial results from researchers at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine. Data is scheduled to be released by the end of 2009. As far as we know, this is the first book ever published that accompanies a game for health.
The book was originally written to help the developers fully understand the backstory and characters appearing in the game. It turned out to be such a good story that co-author Richard Buday felt it shouldn’t gather electronic dust on some hard drive. It needed to be in print.
The book sells for $12.95 and will soon include an educational workbook. Here’s what to expect from the novel:
“Life in the year 2030 was almost perfect. War, crime and hunger were history. Microscopic robots had eradicated pollution. Scientists were on the verge of curing disease. Then, one day, people all over the world started getting sick. And no one knew why. That’s when you, a 12-year-old Trainee Second Class, joined the world’s leading research team. Wings, this is your story. How will you choose?”
Additional details can be read on our companion blog, healthGAMERS.
Thanks to my good friend Andre Blackman, author of Pulse+Signal and co-author for our new blog healthGAMERS, I was able to contribute to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s new Guest Blogger Series: Views on Increasing the Use of Digital Games for Health. This week, The Pioneer Portfolio wants to engage individuals outside of the Foundation in a dialogue about what they believe needs to done to increase the effective use of digital games for the purpose of supporting health and healthcare goals.
Check out our response entitled Developing and Sustaining Health Games — A Losing Battle?. Expect additional thoughts in this amazing series from folks like Richard Tate of HopeLab, Ann Thai of Joan Ganz Cooney, Anastasia Goodstein of YPulse, Greg Matthews of Humana Games and Nedra Weinreich of Spare Change. What a line-up! Feel free to weigh in yourself and tell Pioneering Ideas what you think. Heck, let Monster’s Blog know too!
This excerpt comes from the newest release from the Joan Ganz Cooney Center, the group responsible for the original research that formed Sesame Street. It’s an amazing report that is a must read for all interested in child health or video games for health.
“As the President and Congress seek to reform the health care system and address the glaring gaps in our nation’s educational performance, the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop released a report today that specifies how increased national investment in research-based digital games can play a cost-effective and transformative role. The report Game Changer: Investing in Digital Play to Advance Children’s Learning and Health provides recommendations for the media industry, government, philanthropy and academia to harness the appeal of digital games to improve children’s health and learning. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio, it was unveiled today at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C.”