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Texas Funds Elementary Student Nutrition Education Game
Texas Funds Elementary Student Nutrition Education Game
July 5, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi

July 5, 2011 | By Frank Cifaldi
More: Console/PC, Serious, Design

Nonprofit medicine research and education company The Cooper Institute is fighting childhood obesity with The Quest to Lava Mountain, an educational game targeted at grade school children.

The game -- which recently concluded its pilot program in fourteen schools -- is described as an exploration-based adventure with avatar customization that teaches children proper nutritional habits. It is part of the NutriGram program, an interactive educational initiative funded by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

The Quest to Lava Mountain was developed by Dallas-based Controlled Chaos Media, a studio founded by former students of The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University. Controlled Chaos previously shipped Pocket Fish and Lumos for iOS platforms.

"It’s great to have a medium that meets kids where they are and provides the motivation to learn how to make better choices in their lives," said Controlled Chaos founder Hunter Woodley. "We’re excited to have created a game that has been so well-received."

The game will roll out across public elementary schools in Texas starting in August. More information on the NutriGram project -- which plans for a nationwide expansion next year -- is available on its official site. The official gameplay trailer for The Quest to Lava Mountain is available on YouTube.

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Saul Gonzalez
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From the trailer, the game seems to be a Zelda clone with a nutrition-related item system tacked on. If that's the case, it's a very amateur effort at creating a Serious Game. Saddens me to see something ripped straight out of the edutainment age pitched as a serious effort in 2011.

Moses Wolfenstein
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Nancy Beasley
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We created the "The Quest to Lava Mountain" for use in the classroom, where kids are traditionally sedentary. In fact, President Obama has called on educators to encourage the use of video games in fighting childhood obesity that are at the quality and style bought for entertainment.

"The more I see the game in action and interview teachers, parents, and students, the more I am impressed with the metacognition embedded into the game. It has math, science, reading, and social studies all integrated and all using higher level thinking to understand nutrition, food values, environment, clean water, recipes, cooking, shopping, farming, fishing, map reading, history, associative memory skills, helping others, character ed, and more." Don Disney, Director of Health & Wellness, El Paso Independent School District

Lastly, Scientists say children learn at a rate of 6 to 10 times faster with interactive media versus traditional methods.

Lima Junior
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I created an educational game that helps children to learn deaf´s language with a memory game. It's my bachelor's project that means a lot to me.

Thank you.

Visit please.