First Lady Michelle Obama is on a mission to raise awareness about America’s childhood obesity epidemic, and this week, two Tribeca Flashpoint Academy students are preparing to join her cause.
Game + Interactive Media students Nathan Wangler and Hailey Schmidt have teamed up with Northwestern University student Dennis Ai to form JiveHealth, a game development company with its sights set on a healthier future for our nation’s kids.
The JiveHealth team participated in the Partnership for a healthier America’s End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge, a competition to create web-based applications that will create real change in our nation’s eating habits.
As one of three contest finalists, the team has now been invited to Washington D.C. to attend the Building a Healthier Future Summit for a chance to share their groundbreaking game, Jungo, with the First Lady herself.
Jungo, a children’s game for smartphones, aims to help kids get energized about the idea of healthy eating—both in theory and in practice. During gameplay, kids battle virtual enemies using a slingshot and a wide range of healthy snacks. The game’s real innovation is in tying power-ups to the player’s real-life actions.
“Some items, like apples, only exist in the real world. To get this upgrade, your child will have to go to the supermarket or refrigerator, find an apple, and take a picture of it,” said Wangler.
By getting kids thinking about healthy snacks in the real world, JiveHealth hopes to shorten the distance between understanding healthy choices and actually making them.
The JiveHealth team will be headed to Washington D.C. on March 3, 2013. All are invited to follow their progress on Twitter by following @PeepinTheGame, or on their blog at http://jivehealth.com/blog/.
About Tribeca Flashpoint Academy
A venture with Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Enterprises, Tribeca Flashpoint Academy is one of the nation’s most well-respected digital media arts colleges—offering a progressive training model that erases the boundaries between education and the professional world by exposing students to real-world, industry experiences and state-of-the-art software and equipment.
JiveHealth is designing games (for iOS, Android, and Windows) to engage kids and help them build healthy eating habits through experiential learning. Their first game will be released in Summer 2013.