FriendsLearn is in the final stage of its Kickstarter campaign to raise $50,000 for a new version of Fooya, its 3D online food-fight game. The title has the serious mission of educating people throughout the world about the relationship between food, health, and wellness.
With just three days to go and $42,000 raised so far, the Silicon Valley game company is making a push into India where it hopes its title will make a social impact. Friends Learn plans to use the money to make Fooya With Friends, a multiplayer expansion for its existing game Fooya. The game has received national media coverage in India thanks to its Reciprocity Wave public art competition, which aimed to raise awareness about heart disease, diabetes, and other diseases traced to diet and lifestyle.
FriendsLearn co-organized this art competition in Chennai, India on March 9, 2013 with sponsorship from India’s leading cricket team in the Indian Premier League, The Chennai Super Kings, and HDFC bank. About 400 contestants in three categories created paintings, sketches, collages, and posters to help publicize the cause.
”This is a critical time for us since the entire Kickstarter campaign $50,000 goal must be met for FriendsLearn to receive any of these funds,” said Bhargav Sri Prakash, Founder and CEO of FriendsLearn. “While gearing up for the final stretch of the campaign and excited about the partnerships and visibility that has emerged as a result of our outreach, we still need our friends and followers to help us cross the finish line.”
The company, which we wrote about in April 2012, has already created a game set in a 3D carnival. Fooya players create food-based weapons to combat the evil forces driving obesity. Players win by dodging unhealthy food thrown at them, and they run around to burn calories.
“By creating Fooya with Friends, we intend to start a global food fight to combat humanity’s health crisis caused by greedy junk food profiteers. But creating a high-performance, real-time multiplayer backend to support that scale takes a lot of time, skill, and resources to produce,” said Sri Prakash. “While this new level of engagement promises to deliver a hugely exciting experience for gamers, Fooya with Friends will continue to fight against the global health epidemic of obesity by producing a fast-paced environment that not only entertains but also subconsciously educates about the dangers of a bad diet.”
The company has 13 employees, and it has a patent related to its 3D multiplayer virtual-campus-exploration platform. The company cites stats that expect 50 percent of Americans will be obese by 2030, and today, 2.1 billion people in the world are dangerously overweight.