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Social Gaming That Gives Back- Fun for the Whole Family

Use Social Media, Social Gaming and Augmented Reality Incentives to inform and engage young people, families, and groups. Using real life incentives on popular social platforms, we can stimulate the economy, encourage healthy habits, fight obesity and the hunger epidemic.

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Written by DeletedUser

Kids and adults love social games/ augmented reality interaction (think Farmville and FourSquare) on their smartphones. People send each other gifts all the time and receive XP and various merit badges. My idea is simply to tie a little more reality to this growing social trend. Here’s how it could work.


1. People gift each other fresh fruit through FourSquare or Zynga game for smartphones, they visit a local farmer’s market, co-op, community farm,- and receive special badges or XP on popular platforms.


2. Associated with each gift, is a quick factoid about the fresh food item and a scan-able coupon (can be scanned by other smartphones), good for a real version of a fresh food item. The coupon can be scanned by local farmers market vendor and the user is given a discount or free item AND the game/ or system recognizes the purchase and doles out more XP for that user.


3. A level above that interaction would be to allow kids to collect fresh ingredient coupons within a certain amount of time ( let’s say a week) to earn a free healthy/fresh meal.


4. A portion of the commercial proceeds could go to fighting the hunger epidemic. Participants can get digital/social badge rewards for donating to a program that gives fresh foods to starving nations. Kids and families learn even more through doing GOOD!


Pros


+ Great way to execute an information campaign AND Get kids to eat fresh foods.
+ Adults are doing it too so they are leading by example. Kids won’t be discouraged by feeling targeted in a kids only campaign.
+Adults learn too and share with friends, spread to more families.
+This will attract more Families to local farmer’s markets,co-ops, and community farms.
+Great opportunity for commercial partners and sponsors (whole foods for example)
+Great opportunity for platform providers (Zynga, FourSquare)
+Would Work on existing games and platforms that are already popular
+Doesn’t require special equipment. Relies on smart phones which almost everyone has.


+Doing good by helping hungry people of the world too!!


Part 2 Why Stop There?
We can use this same idea to solve obesity epidemic, stimulate the economy, and address the global hunger epidemic as well using the same system, but this time targeting meals.
Why is it that 90% of the time when you’re friends advise you to “live a little” and “indulge yourself” it’s related to food? I think when it comes to food, I’ll take their advice and choose the road that helps me live a little…longer. Gluttony brought on by the smorgasbord of edible indulgences is cheap in America.


The other common question amongst friends around meal times (which is anytime for most of us ) is what should we eat or where should we eat? Let’s solve both of these in a fun and easy way. In social gaming and augmented reality gaming, there is real money already associated. People use real money to purchase digital game items, so why not tie in outcomes that make life enjoyable in the real world.


1. Using GPS local aware apps,social games, users can purchase or use points every now and again to send a “mystery gift” of a dessert or meal. The recipient gets a gift and at random is given the digital reward, a recipe, a coupon for a healthy alternative and every once in a while, at random, a tasty indulgence.


2. The recipient now has a few options, cook at home and get coupons on ingredients, or go out to eat. If the coupons are used at local stores, the user account is rewarded with even more XP and special badges.


3. I mentioned solving the hunger epidemic. I’m sure that the commercial partners could arrange it so a portion of the proceeds, or every desert purchase goes towards the various foundations to feed the hungry.


4. The system at random can crank out a coupon for something fancy or indulging like Outback Steak House, Cold Stone Ice Cream, Pint of Ben and Jerry’s and other commercial partners- ideally more healthy than those mentioned.


Pros


+Stimulates the economy
+ People change behavior and switch to healthy alternatives
+ Starving people are fed.
+ Cooking at home is encouraged
+ People will lose weight (imagine if weight watchers partnered for this)
+ Social capitol and XP gained for using the system. Bragging rights for badges, etc.
+ Great way to execute an information campaign, encourage healthy eating and donating to a good cause.
+ Adults and children playing together, teaching the next generation to do good and stay fit.
+Adults are setting a good example. Kids won’t be discouraged by feeling targeted in a kids only campaign.
+Adults learn too and share with friends, spread to more families.
+This will get more groups and families in local stores, or healthier restaurants.
+This encourages restaurants to offer healthy options )excellent commercial marketing opportunity as well).
+Great opportunity for commercial partners and sponsors (Subway for example)
+Great opportunity for platform providers (Zynga, FourSquare)
+Would Work on existing games and platforms that are already popular
+Doesn’t require special equipment. Relies on smart phones which almost everyone has.


Cons


This will require real money from everyday people say $5 or less. This isn’t a con but obviously a challenge. I’m a frugal guy, but for all the pros mentioned above and the fun experience with friends, I’d totally do this.


Conclusion:


This is a practical and fun way to get the culture and community moving in the right direction. You’re welcome World. Now help me, help you build this stuff so we can play the game already.

Age of kids. The solutions to changing kids’ eating behaviors will vary depending on their age. What works for a toddler won’t necessarily fly for a teenager, although we suspect some concepts might be appropriate for all ages—even adults! Which age bracket does your concept address (tick all relevant boxes)?

  • Middle school (Tweens) 11-13
  • High school (Teens) 14 -18
  • Young adults 18-21

Hurdles to success. Helping kids make smarter food choices comes with a variety of hurdles that have to be addressed in order for a design solution to be successful, which of these do you think that your Concept overcomes (tick all relevant boxes)?

  • Lack of Knowledge

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Photo of Arjan Tupan

Great concept. Social gaming is hot in this challenge. Maybe some of the ideas could be combined into one in the concepting phase.