Friday, October 20, 2006

G4H 2006: NanoSwarm - A Serious Videogame Adventure

Serious Games challenging us to play a better future

NanoSwarm is a game about Diabetes Education. It was created with collaboration between Baylor College of Medicine and developer Archimage

Nanoswarm: Invasion from Inner Space is a serious videogame adventure in healthy eating and exercise. Archimage, Inc. is collaborating with experts at the Children’s Nutritional Research Center of Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine on the project. The project is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. Tentative release date for the videogame is 2008.

The rising tide of childhood obesity has been linked to type II diabetes, a “looming crisis” that is reaching epidemic proportions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts one third of Americans born after 2000 will be diabetic in their lifetime. Unlike type I diabetes, which is a result of mostly genetic factors, type II diabetes is primarily associated with diet and physical activity behavior. Diabetes is already the country’s leading cause of new blindness and kidney failure. It is also the nation’s sixth leading cause of death.

Nanoswarm's rich, immersive, role-playing puts teenagers inside a videogame that blends sci-fi action and adventure with evidence-based behavior modification theories. Archimage develops serious video games played on the Web, PCs, handhelds and Nintendo’s Gamecube. The 23-year-old visual design studio has won over 30 international awards for everything from architectural building projects to broadcast television commercials, computer imagery and print graphics. Clients include Time Warner Communications, Knowledge Adventure, Ziff- Davis and IBM. The firm has also worked on projects for The Walt Disney Company and Nintendo.