20th February 2023

The SWITCHtoHEALTHY project is an interesting initiative aimed at promoting healthy dietary habits consistent with the Mediterranean diet. The project involves the development of a new app and an educational game that will help families, including children and adolescents, stick to a healthy dietary behaviour. The game is designed to increase the engagement of family members in the dietary behaviour change process and encourage them to adopt healthier habits. A mockup of the “life simulation” Educational Game, with the coordination of CERTH, Centre for Research and Technology Hellas (Greece), has already been developed!

The educational game is a modern way of encouraging individuals, especially younger users, to make healthy choices. The game will be integrated into the SWITCHtoHEALTHY app and is envisioned as a mobile game where family members will have to take care of a "Tamagotchi" digital character living in the app. The character's needs will be met based on the player’s choices, while the game will help them choose appropriate foods and physical activities, and prepare healthy meals.

One of the game's most exciting features is that it provides feedback on the nutritional value of the player's choices. Feedback is essential as it allows players to make informed choices about the food they prepare for their virtual friend, and it also educates and encourages them to make healthier choices in their own personal life.

The game prototype is expected to be ready in a few months. Its final version will be launched in Spring 2024. A related poster, entitled "Promoting the Mediterranean diet: a co-design game approach", has been accepted for presentation at the refereed Conference “25th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction” (HCI International 2023) that will take place in Copenhagen (Denmark) next July.