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Game about HIV shows how playing and learning go hand-in-hand
Game about HIV shows how playing and learning go hand-in-hand
July 30, 2014 | By Mike Rose

July 30, 2014 | By Mike Rose
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Design

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.

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Game Designer


James Yee
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Now if only more people outside of gaming would understand this... :|

Lihim Sidhe
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"But Destiny! BUT DESTINY! New DLC Headshot Killstreaks! More maps! More pwnage!"

Honestly a game like this should be on the front page of every gaming website out there.

What is wrong with us?

Masaru Wada
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"What is wrong with us?"

We're human.

As noble as the game seems, it also seems, well, eh, not fun. It's valid to try to utilize it as an educational tool, but not many people are going to put many hours into it as a form of leisure.

Kelvin Bonilla
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I agree.... but for a different reason...
I think this should be a Game FIRST, Education tool SECOND.

Otherwise, it's just an interactive class of sorts; not necessarily a game.
At least, this is what I think...

Nevertheless, I'd love to check this out for curiosity's sake.

Kelvin Bonilla
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I am actually interested in another dimension of games.
Games that explore the life of people with HIV or any other form of STI's.

I believe that putting ourselves in a situation where WE are the afflicted ones, goes a long way to understanding more of the world around us.

We are usually brought up with stay away from STI's, but I have not heard of any accounts where we are taught how to live, accept, and enjoy life when we are on the unfortunate side.
Life is not fair, and some people really did not deserve the cards they were dealt in this regard.
Nevertheless, all I ever hear is on quarantine and segregation...

A great example is a game that shows how life can be fruitful under these circumstances by presenting player choice that can either condemn or reward behavior with hard consequences, such as transmitting their infection to a loved one.

Sounds crazy, but I'd like to try it, as soon as I'm done with my current game projects.