January 12, 2008

Get Fat on Monday

by Noah Wardrip-Fruin · , 11:36 am
Poster for Fatworld

Ian Bogost announces a Monday launch date for the new Persuasive Games title Fatworld (funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting). It looks to be a far cry from exergaming — and from the constant bemoaning that “kids aren’t getting outside because they spend all their time on those darn video games.” While the game’s not out yet, we can get an intriguing sense of its procedural rhetoric from the Fatworld page on the Persuasive Games site. Rather than simply telling people what they should do, it aims to expose the fact that “our culture and environment are actually structured to discourage healthy habits.”

It looks pretty juicy! I’m excited to see a game on a social/political topic that appears interestingly complex, rather than like a single-idea minigame. I’ll also be interested to see how the PG team has managed to integrate meal planning, exercise minigames, a restaurant management simulation, a character health/development dimension, and game elements engaging government, healthcare, and merchandising. Of course, given its level of ambition and controversial subject matter, I’m sure we won’t all agree — but I’m pretty sure we’ll find ourselves talking about Fatworld.