Gaming with a message

The RE3.org campaign has been using videos as a method to get the word out for a couple of years. Now the new trend is in gaming.

I talked with a company called Persuasive Games that creates games with a message. According to their Web site, “Our games influence players to take action through gameplay. Games communicate differently than other media; they not only deliver messages, but also simulate experiences. While often thought to be just a leisure activity, games can also become rhetorical tools.” Check out their blog at http://www.watercoolergames.org.

If your target is the younger male demographic this can be a very powerful tool. Unfortunately, I don’t have the funding to create a game right now. Can anyone help with that? Maybe a student intern next year?

Always on the cutting edge,
mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, and the Kaiser Family Foundation have announced the “Change the Course of HIV Challenge” – a competition offering college students digital tools to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in the United States.

The challenge asks gamers, activists or any student with a great idea to propose a viral, Web-based video game concept to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among 15-24 year olds in the US and to promote personal action in response to the epidemic. The winning individual or team will work with mtvU and the Kaiser Family Foundation – which are committing $75,000 to the development and marketing of the game – to see their idea realized. The challenge is open to college students nationwide and the deadline for submissions is March 16th, 2007. For more information and to submit an idea, visit mtvU.com.

The “Change the Course of HIV Challenge” follows on the success of “Darfur is Dying”, a student-developed, viral video game – now played more than 2 million times by over 1 million people – and a key element of mtvU’s Emmy Award-winning Sudan campaign. “ Darfur is Dying” is a narrative-based simulation where the user, from the perspective of a displaced Darfurian, negotiates forces that threaten the survival of his or her refugee camp.

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