We believe that interactive stories can change your mind, and role-playing video games can change your life. That's why we created Playnormous, a storied world that teaches, trains and changes health behaviors.
What kind of health behavior could stories and video games improve? Consider this: obesity is now the single most preventable cause of death in the world, exceeding even smoking. Two-thirds of the US population is overweight or obese, and obesity among children has become epidemic. Once weight is on, it's difficult to lose. At 10 years old, the likelihood of an overweight child becoming an obese adult increases several times. We have been working with the National Institutes of Heath and researchers at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health Science Center to develop interactive media that improve children's diet and physical activity behaviors. Playnormous puts the power of this research into the hands of kids. Our goal is a healthier generation of children.
Playnormous is a world of first-person, role-playing adventures for kids 6 to12 years old. It's also an online community of parents, teachers, health researchers and healthcare professionals.
Playnormous uses role-playing entertainment to inform, educate, train and inspire children to make lifelong healthy nutrition and physical activity choices. Kids navigate an enchanted land of friendly monsters through interactive stories and casual games.
Interactive narratives are sometimes called "choose your own adventures." Each child assumes the role of a character in the story and makes choices that determine their own and other characters' actions. Stories branch and unfold, leading to many decisions and, eventually, to multiple possible endings. Choosing your own adventure makes it possible to uniquely tailor stories to children's specific interests -- a very powerful tool for learning and for adopting positive behaviors.
Playnormous stories are interconnected with casual video games. The term "casual game" refers to a genre of online activities that use simple rules, making them easy to learn and play. Casual health games can simulate real world situations inside a safe and friendly game environment. They can also, through drill and practice, train players on specific topics.
Our goal is using entertainment to teach and to modify health behaviors. Our stories and games are built on evidence-based models of effective behavior change theories including Elaboration Likelihood Model, behavioral inoculation theory, social cognitive theory, self-determination theory, and transportation theory.
Playnormous was created by a team of professional artists, game designers, computer programmers and health researchers. Our experience and interactive technologies were developed over 10 years of collaborating with leading behavior, nutrition and physical activity experts through more than $20 million of National Institutes of Health and private industry grants and contracts.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts one out of every three children born after 2000 will develop diabetes if the current obesity epidemic continues. Type 2 diabetes, once called, "adult onset diabetes," is no longer only a concern for the overweight middle-aged. Today, teenagers are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a leading cause of death in the US and the leading cause of new blindness in adults ages 20 to 74. Undiagnosed or untreated diabetes can also lead to kidney failure, stroke, heart disease, and limb amputation.
Type 2 diabetes is mostly a result a personal choices regarding diet and exercise. Clinicians agree the best way to combat the rise in type 2 diabetes and obesity is by eating more fruits and vegetables, drinking more water and less sweetened beverages, and being more physically active. Getting children to lead healthier lives is the first step in stopping the obesity and diabetes epidemics.
We have been working with the National Institutes of Health, Baylor College of Medicine, and the US Department of Agriculture for ten years trying improve children's health behavior. Our method? Reaching kids today's most pervasive and persuasive media: interactive stories and video games.
Please contact us for additional information.
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