Contest for Best Video Game Concept Against AIDS, Deadline March 16

Summary: The Kaiser Family Foundation and mtvU announced a contest for the best concept for a Web-based video game “to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among 15-24 year olds in the U.S. and to promote personal action in response to the epidemic.”

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On January 25, 2007, the Kaiser Family Foundation and mtvU (MTV’s college network) announced a competition to design the best viral, Web-based video game concept “to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among 15-24 year olds in the U.S. and to promote personal action in response to the epidemic.” The winner (individual or team) will receive $5,000 and be able to work with KFF and mtvU, who have committed $75,000 to development and marketing of the game. This contest is open to current full or part time college and university students at least age 18.

The deadline for submitting the concept is March 16. For more information visit both http://www.mtvu.com/on_mtvu/activism/hivchallenge/game/ and http://www.kff.org/hivaids/phip012507nr.cfm

Comment: We would design a relationship training game based on real data and expertise. Let players fly through different relationship spaces at their own speed, learning dating customs and personal skills to help them get what they want socially while reducing HIV risk. Personal effectiveness and infection risk ratings (computed from choices the players made in the game) would show instantly on a display. The session might conclude with the spin of a roulette wheel color-coded to represent the risk of a new HIV infection from the adventures they had — and projected graphs such as future life expectancy and medical expenses would change accordingly.

The next step, maybe for a later edition, would allow a player to invite a friend located anywhere into structured, two-person scenarios. Eventually there could be a massively multiplayer game space for singles or couples who wanted it. And AIDS prevention organizations could have a presence in the game.

Feel free to use these ideas as you wish. We are not entering the contest.

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Copyright 2007 by John S. James. We prefer that you link to www.aidsnews.org or a specific article — no permission required. Otherwise permission is granted for nonprofit use. Please check with us (aidsnews@aidsnews.org) before copying articles more than a year old.

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