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Chew to reload: Light-gun concept game tries to make eating vegetables fun (video)

Mat Smith, @thatmatsmith
September 21, 2013
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The Tokyo Game Show isn't just triple-A console titles and new hardware. Oh no, there's Food Practice Shooter too. It's the work of Takayuki Kosaka from Kanagawa's Institute of Technology, with the noble aim of getting kids to eat more vegetables. How? By making vegetable eating an integral part of a light-gun game. The shooting part is pretty standard: you pull the trigger and shoot the veggie enemies on screen just like any point-and-shoot game you've played in the arcade. However, to reload, you need to pluck one of three vegetable-based snacks from the cups on the surface in front of you. (We'd assume real-life tests would use vibrant, fresh carrot sticks -- these snack substitutes were a little too tasty in their own right). Then you chew. The PC running the concept game connects to a head-set with a distance sensor pointing at your cheek -- you calibrate your chewing before you get into the game itself.

As you chew on each snack, it recharges one of three ammo category, whether it's green peppers, tomatoes or carrots. Gnaw faster and you'll recharge more ammo. The game also snaps a brief shot of the player once they've finished reloading -- it's also another opportunity to calibrate the sensor to your (non-masticating) face. Catch our test subject's smile on the high score screen -- you'll find it at the end of our video, which is right after the break.

Gallery: Food Practice Shooter hands-on at TGS 2013 | 17 Photos

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