Often playing video games is associated with unhealthy behavior. There is a strong stereotype of a gamer who stays in the basement, eating junk food and never leaving the house.
So it may come as a surprise to some when Green Ribbon Schools added a game design contest as part of their Healthivores program. For this contest, Gamestar made some new sprites depicting both healthy foods and fast foods. The kids who entered the Healthivores contest made use of these sprites in very interesting ways.
Their were over 400 entries to the competition. The winning game described a war against the “fast foodies,” where the hero (you) learns that apples and other health foods give you nutrients and “special powers” to fight in the war, like running faster and jumping higher.
Check out the competition page and play the games of the winners!
Games sometimes get a bad rap because of the stereotypical hard core gamer locked away in his basement for hours on end, never seeing the light of day. Our friends at Green Ribbon Schools have been using Gamestar for a while now and recently launched their own game design contest that turns this image on its ear by using game design to promote healthy living.
Green Ribbon Schools is an award program that recognizes schools participating in activities that promote and encourage a healthy and environmentally friendly learning environment. Their Healthivores Game Design Contest encourages students to design games that teach a healthy lesson. The contest website features an amazing range of resources ranging from videos to lesson plans to educational materials to help students and teachers get started in making their entries, even for folks who have never made a game or taught game design before. Students have the opportunity to win notebook computers for themselves, their teachers and their school for designing the best games.
The contest is open now through May 1, 2012. You can find out more at the contest website.
As followers of this blog know, we’ve found game design competitions to be a really effective way to engage and motivate students around the game design process, as well as to connect kids’ interest in game design with learning in other subject areas. It’s pretty neat to see others embracing this philosophy and putting together interesting and educational game design contests of their own.