RCA backs anti-obesity game

An innovation unit based in St Mary’s Hospital, London has designed a game, which it hopes can help tackle obesity in children.


The HELIX Centre has been jointly set up by the Royal College of Art and Imperial College London.

Designers and researchers have sought to create a card game, Ujinga, “which gives kids permission to be silly” according to the RCA.

Action cards

The card game, aimed at children aged 9-13 is based around “ridiculous tasks” and encouraging physical activity.

The cards have been illustrated by London-based artist Tom Jennings.

HELIX designer Ifung Lu says: “The whole idea is to make exercise for kids fun and a bit ridiculous.”

Special cards

A crowd-funding programme will start on kickstarter next week and Ujinga will also be available in selected retailers

In addition it will be available for free download under a Creative Commons open-source license to encourage kids, parents and teachers to print out, share and remix the game with their friends and families. 

There are also plans for an online version of the game according to Lu who says: “Getting kids to be more active will not work by telling them off and just warning of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle. They need to be motivated and Ujinga is one exciting way to do it.”

Hide Comments (2)Show Comments (2)
  • simon heap November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Whilst it’s great that effort is being put into the anti-obesity debate this creation misses the mark.

    Kids need both fun, inclusivity and to be properly engaged with any activity designed to get them moving and this smacks of kneejerk design.

    Design is (one of) the answers to tackling the growing obesity epidemic but exercise isn’t the only solution. This is too simplistic and won’t appeal to anyone other than buyers looking for easy answers.

    Having said all of that – all luck to them, at least it’s got a chance of generating debate.

    Simon Heap
    Founder – Rugged Interactive

  • Maria Vittoria Burlina November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Everyone is aiming for the same goal here. I think your negativity is a bit misplaced.

  • Post a comment

Latest articles