A new study, based around an iPad game that teaches about the risks of HIV, has found that video games can be used in "new and exciting ways" to teach young kids real-world knowledge.
As presented at the AIDS 2014 conference
in Melbourne this month, the study found that young people who played PlayForward: Elm City Stories
, a mobile game about HIV risks, "increases HIV risk-related knowledge among adolescents."
PlayForward: Elm City Stories
is being put together through a partnership between Schell Games and Yale University.
198 kids with a mean age of 13 played the game for around six weeks, while 125 of participants then went on to complete a three-month follow-up assessment through the game.
The study found that those children who played the game, compared to a control group, had a much better understanding of the risks of HIV.
"Video games are ubiquitous, foster skill development translating into improved health outcomes, and have the potential to dramatically reduce risk behaviors in youth," according to the AIDS 2014 website.