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The fact that kids love to play games is obvious. But do they love them enough to be convinced to not only eat, but also, enjoy 'yucky' vegetables like carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and even . . . green pepper? That is what Takayuki Kosaka, an Assistant Professor at Japan's Kanagawa Institute for Technology is hoping to achieve with a new gaming console that he calls Food Practice Shooter!
Unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Game Show which was took place from September 19th-22nd, the Food Practice Shooter comprises of a massive game controller complete with camera, a multitude of sensors and three scales. In order for the game to begin and work perfectly, the player has to load up the scales with healthy vegetables and wear the headphones that contain the sensors.
Once everything is in position, the player begins to shoot his/her way through a city that has been taken over by, you guessed it . . . Giant vegetables! However each time one of them is successfully shot down, it depletes the player's ammunition supplies, which believe it or not are also veggies - carrots, green peppers and tomatoes to be exact.
In order to reload, the player has to not only munch on a real veggie and chew it slowly - a motion that is monitored by the sensors in the headphones - but also, smile at the camera as if he/she is genuinely enjoying it. Once all that is verified, more ammunition is added and the cycle continues. Kosaka, who used vegetable crackers for his demonstration, believes that this game will train kids to eat vegetables and since it forces them to smile, also associate the taste to a positive memory.
Whether this game will appeal to kids or even adults given the elaborate set-up required, is anybody's guess - But the Assistant Professor is hoping that he can at least bring the gaming console to schools and other 'health' oriented shows and demonstrate how tasty vegetables can be.
Resources: Endgadget.com, Wired.com