Video Game Students at Collins College Work on an Educational On-Line Video Game Designed to Address the Epidemic of Childhood Obesity

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Students enrolled in Collins College’s bachelor of arts in game design degree programs had the opportunity to work on “The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective,” an on-line video game distributed by Kaiser Permanente, America's leading integrated health plan.

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The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective

Students enrolled in Collins College’s bachelor of arts in game design degree programs had the opportunity to work on “The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective,” an on-line video game distributed by Kaiser Permanente, America's leading integrated health plan.

“‘The Amazing Food Detective’ is part of Kaiser Permanente's continuing efforts to address the epidemic of childhood obesity,” said Ray Baxter, senior vice president for Community Benefit at Kaiser Permanente. It was designed and developed for us by Digital Dream Forge, a Phoenix-based company that designs and develops web-based games and educational software.

Digital Dream Forge hired Collins College students to work on different elements of the game. According to Carolina Barnes, president of Digital Dream Forge, “As a former Collins instructor, I was familiar with the college’s game design degree programs and hired ten students to help develop game concepts. One of my programmers was also a Collins student. Collins students worked for about six months on different phases of the project. The students did a great job.”

"The Incredible Adventures of the Amazing Food Detective" is the first of its kind - a free, online video game, available in English and in Spanish, that teaches children to eat healthier foods, get more active and manage how they spend their time in front of the computer and television. It takes children through activities that show how to choose healthy foods and get more active. Children playing the game follow the routines of eight culturally diverse children whose activities or conditions would benefit from healthy food and exercise choices. Aimed at children ages 9-10 and available to everyone at http://www.kp.org/amazingfooddetective, the game, complements Kaiser Permanente's nationally recognized childhood obesity clinical strategy.

The game includes an array of features that get kids moving and away from the computer, such as an automatic shut-off function after 20 minutes that reminds kids to get active, printable scavenger hunts that teach kids how to interpret food labels, experiments to show kids how to measure the amount of sugar in soda drinks, healthy kid-friendly recipes, muscle-building exercises, and family activities that encourage better eating habits.

Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education and media company, is distributing supplementary educational materials that meet national standards along with CDs of the game to more than 5,000 public schools nationwide. The materials include a teaching guide with engaging lessons and activities as well as a colorful wall poster with a full month of healthy ideas for the classroom.

About Collins College
Collins College, a school of design and technology, provides students with a career-focused education. Approximately 1,500 students from across the nation attend Collins College. Collins offers Bachelor of Arts degrees in game design, visual arts with a major in game art, graphic design, interior design, film & video production, and a Bachelor of Science in information technology. Associate degrees are offered in information technology, digital video production, and graphic design. For more information, visit http://www.collinscollege.edu

About Digital Dream Forge
Digital Dream Forge, a developer of web games, educational software and web-based training, was born out of a desire to combine successful business practices from "normal" businesses with the volatile and creative forces of the game industry. Digital Dream Forge specializes in acting as a liaison between game companies and traditional businesses that wish to utilize new technologies, yet do not want to create an in-house internal development group. Working with a network of game business professionals, Digital Dream Forge builds teams to bring visions to reality. For more information, please visit http://www.digitaldreamforge.com.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is America’s leading integrated health plan. Founded in 1945, it is a not-for-profit; group practice prepayment program headquartered in Oakland, Calif. Kaiser Permanente serves the health care needs of more than 8.7 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Today it encompasses the not-for-profit Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and their subsidiaries, and the for-profit Permanente Medical Groups. Nationwide, Kaiser Permanente includes approximately 156,000 technical, administrative and clerical employees and caregivers, and more than 13, 000 physicians representing all specialties. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit the KP News Center at: http://xnet.kp.org/newscenter.

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