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Game Design & Production Students Win First Place in US Dept of Health and Human Services Challenge

Well Spent screenshot

January 3, 2020

Tara Boonngamanong and Note Nuchprayoon, second-year students in the Game Design & Production major at Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design, won first place (with a prize of $20,000) in the second phase of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ game challenge. For this year’s challenge, The Office on Women’s Health (OWH) charged participants to create an interactive video game focused on obesity prevention and weight control for women and girls. The prompt further required creators to address an evidence-based obesity prevention or control strategy and to make their game available at no cost to the general public.

Tara and Note collaborated with recent University of Pennsylvania graduate Ila Krishna Kumar to create Well Spent, which aims to teach smart food shopping. With a dual mission of decreasing obesity and raising awareness about the unique challenges that come with shopping for healthy food in low-income communities, Well Spent helps users identify healthy foods with a time constraint, budget, and distractions. The narrative-based game follows a single mother shopping for food for her family; the player learns to balance money, time, and healthy eating through a series of challenges.

Well Spent was selected as one of ten national winners in the first phase of the competition, won phase two, and now Tara, Note, and Ila will compete as one of only two national teams in phase three, in which they will be eligible for $55,000 in additional funding. Learn more about Well Spent here, and watch the visual walkthrough of the prototype here.