Turning the corner, I braced myself for another unfathomably academic abstract with a title that reads something like Engineering Human Rhinovirus Serotype A-1 as an HIV Vaccine Vector. My poor overloaded brain just wasn’t able to cope with another poster of stats, graphs and nanotype. So imagine the relief when I turned the corner to find the complete opposite. Here, at the World STI Congress 2015, was a research group who had finally got their game on.
Infection Protection, an initiative from the WA Health Department, are using online gaming to get their Sexual Health messages out to the young (and the young at heart). You can check out Infection Protection by downloading it from www.getthefacts.health.wa.gov.au
Interactive Games Missing their Mark
Interactive games are playing an increasingly important role in education around health and social issues. Check out this list compiled by MedlinePlus to see how much of an influence health games are playing. While the intentions are good, the majority of health games miss their mark. Kids are so much more tech savvy than we realise and in the time it takes to develop and build a game, it’s easy to lose them if the game is lame. Yes, the intentions are good - but are they really reaching their target audience?
Cashing in on the Minecraft Model
Infection Protection appears to have hit their target by channelling the one game that has completely captured kid’s imaginations, Minecraft. Millions of young people from 2-22 are playing Minecraft - the global gaming phenomena that uses blockhead characters to build cities, worlds and galaxies. You can play online with other Minecrafters from across the globe, or offline if you have the demo game.
Infection Protection is a simple game but, from our perspective, the branding is spot on. And, just to be sure, we’re going to ask our 12-14 year old audience to review the game.
Stay tuned for an honest appraisal next week!
PS: We tried to download from the App Store but had a few issues, so we went to Get The Facts and found a whole bunch of other really great sexual health messages for young people.
Download Infection Protection from www.getthefacts.health.wa.gov.au
Download from www.getthefacts.health.wa.gov.au