The Alien at the Bottom of the Garden
December 16, 2009 2:49 PM   Subscribe

The Alien at the Bottom of the Garden
I've always wanted to create a 'virtual pet', and finally got the chance with this game that's designed to teach kids about diet and exercise by getting them to look after a little alien visitor (rejected names/taglines included "Take me to your feeder" and "Eat tea with E.T."). Hopefully the cuteness and nice touches will make it fun for some adults too.
posted by malevolent (3 comments total)

I thought it was cute but the information might flash across the screen a bit too fast for kids to read?
posted by gomichild at 4:21 PM on December 16, 2009

It's a tricky trade-off, as the longer messages appear for the more they're blocking other messages. It may well be too fast though, and I'll certainly change it if it proves to be a common problem.
posted by malevolent at 6:24 AM on December 18, 2009

This is an awesome idea. I recently took a course in persuasive computing, in which we studied a bunch of different projects to encourage healthy living; this one is top-notch.

I realize it would take a tremendous amount of effort, but I wonder if you could make this real time--so when the kid eats a piece of fruit or exercises, he can click a button and see his alien get healthier. You could even make a cell phone version.

In the US at least, the government is very much willing to fund creative ideas for keeping people healthy.
posted by miyabo at 11:35 AM on December 22, 2009

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