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Wizard Mat- Oversized Educational Game Concept

Surprisingly, one in three American children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their lifetime. Worsening exercise and nutrition trends among youth are increasing the need for new approaches to education. Games are widely recognized as an effective tool to facilitate learning and promote hands-on experience. A researcher at Utah State University has developed a new game concept, the Wizard Mat, which makes it fun, easy, and enjoyable for youth to learn the benefits of healthy eating and weight management, among other concepts. Playing on the Wizard Mat, an oversized game board, allows each player to act as a moving token. Youth learn key concepts related to health or other topics while answering questions. With a goal of moving around the board, youth enjoy the added fun of oversize foam die, Mystery Moves Cards, and Treats Cards. The Wizard Mat can accommodate multiple learning concepts simply by changing the topic card set.
Features and Benefits
  • Classroom education
  • Afterschool programs
  • Extension education workshops
  • Key nutrition and health concepts
  • Any topic around which questions and answer cards can be developed
  • Addresses timely market need, increasing market acceptance for licensee
  • Generic design allows development of multiple card topics, increasing add-on products for licensee
  • Oversized board mat allows players to act as their own game token, increasing involvement and enjoyment
The Wizard Mat is a game concept that can be applied to any topic, although originally designed for health and nutrition learning. Using an oversized game board, players act as traveling tokens whose goal is to be the first to move around the board. The game can be played as individuals or in teams (for larger groups). Players (or team members) stand in the box where they land, rolling oversized foam die for the number of moves. The Wizard Mat is made more interesting by penalties for incorrect answers, as well as specialty cards. Because the spaces on the Wizard Mat are not specific to any one game topic, multiple games can be played with a variety of topic card sets.
Development Stage
A prototype of the Wizard Mat has been developed and tested. Two question and answer sets have been developed:
  • Calcium and Bone Health
  • Healthy Weight Management
Commercialization Associate
Technology Commercialization Office
(435) 797-2515
Reference: W09039