Cyprus Project: Can gaming help reverse the obesity epidemic among children?

Paschalis, head of the design and multimedia department, gave a presentation in Tao’s communication class regarding the obesity epidemic that is affecting many countries around the globe. In his presentation Paschalis described the causes and effects of obesity while also pointing out the many advantages of good nutrition. Moreover, he presented that research has shown that in immersive first-person 3D computer games the visual characteristics and behavior of a player’s avatar influenced the players’ actual behavior in real life. Based on these facts he then asked the students to come up with a game idea and gave them insides on how to do so.

One of Tao’s students came up with a game idea where the main character, while having to go through a maze avoiding various obstacles, has to choose between healthy, unhealthy/fast food, fruits and sweets. When the character chooses the healthy options the player’s score increases and visa versa.

The script for the game was then developed into an actual 3D computer game using Adobe Photoshop, Maya 3D and Unity by a group of students from Paschalis’ Multimedia Project Management class, under his supervision.

The game, due to the limited time for development, can be further improved but it is currently playable and can serve as a prototype for a more advanced game with more options and characters.

Below is a gameplay trailer and a download page of Frutopia , the game developed by the students.

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