News of the Weird–Video Games for Food Stamp Recipients

by on August 17, 2004 · 4 comments

Somebody tell me this is just an early April Fool’s joke. Associated Press reports that somebody at Michigan State University has created a video game for food stamp recipients to teach them about nutrition:

“In an effort to educate the nation’s neediest children on nutrition, a new project uses the familiar medium of video games to broadcast its message. The Fantastic Food Challenge, a package of four computer games, is designed to teach people who get nutrition aid such as federal food stamps how to make better use of their food. Because so many young adults played such games as kids, they ought to be able to learn more easily from them, too, said the project’s director.”

… But wait, it gets better…

“The player feels like a contestant in a marathon of futuristic television game shows that also happen to give instruction about how to buy food at the lowest cost, store it properly and prepare healthy meals… One game is called Store It Safe. It involves placing baked beans, tortillas, frozen chicken and other virtual groceries into a cartoon-drawn freezer, cupboard or refrigerator. In another game, a version of Concentration, players turn over blank cards that flash a food and a menu item made with that ingredient, then try to remember which card had the milk that matches the macaroni and cheese. The on-screen opponent is a sore-loser robot that blows steam out of its ears when it guesses wrong, but which gets better as the game becomes more difficult.”

Are you kidding me? I want to believe that this is just a joke, but it looks like it’s legit.

Unreal. What’s next, a video game to teach us how to dress ourselves?

  • http://www.davidchess.com/words/log.html David M. Chess

    Are you objecting to the idea of the food stamp program wanting to teach people about nutrition and menus and stuff, or about the fact that someone’s suggesting using computer games to do it? Games can be *very* effective educational tools, so if it’s the latter I’d like to hear your evidence for thinking it’s a bad idea. The fact that something sounds (or can be made to sound) silly in a sound bite doesn’t mean it’s not actually a good idea.

  • http://www.davidchess.com/words/log.html David M. Chess

    Are you objecting to the idea of the food stamp program wanting to teach people about nutrition and menus and stuff, or about the fact that someone’s suggesting using computer games to do it? Games can be *very* effective educational tools, so if it’s the latter I’d like to hear your evidence for thinking it’s a bad idea. The fact that something sounds (or can be made to sound) silly in a sound bite doesn’t mean it’s not actually a good idea.

  • http://www.peoplepc.com KaraX

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  • http://www.peoplepc.com KaraX

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