The federal government has invested over $10 million developing and promoting a video game about a young teen that must escape a town full of fat people, as a method to fight obesity.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) paid for the development of two video games that promote healthier eating, including “Escape from Diab,” a “nightmare” fictional city where people are only allowed to eat junk food.
“The story centers around five children who must get healthy enough to escape the evil King Etes,” explains Archimage, Inc., a computer game company that received $9,091,409 to develop the games. King Etes is a fat ruler who forces his people to eat out of vending machines.
“Deejay, an athletic inner city youth, accidentally tumbles into an abandoned building and through its rotting floor,” according to the backstory described on Escape from Diab’s website. “When he awakes, he finds himself in Diab, a nightmare city where people eat nothing but junk food.”
“He finds new friends and agrees to help them prepare for their escape to the legendary Golden City, using everything he has learned about nutrition and exercise from his track coach,” it says. “Deejay’s arrival has been noted by the despotic King Etes who will stop at nothing to capture him.”
“This is the town of Diab. You can eat all the junk food you want. In Diab, you never have to exercise,” a narrator says over a trailer for the game. “Sound like a dream? It’s not.”