Monday, January 29, 2007

HIV/AIDS Video Game

Kaiser Family Foundation and mtvU are offering $75,000 in development and marketing support and a $5,000 prize to a college student who can pitch the best HIV/AIDS awareness viral video game (application here).

"Successfull ideas must:

1. Raise awareness about the prevalence of HIV/AIDS among 15-24 year olds in the United States and educate about key methods of prevention and risk reduction.
2. Identify ways to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS, with a focus on personal action.
3. Address the silence, stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS.
4. Be interactive and able to live and be spread online.

Keep the following in consideration:
1. Be hopeful and empowering.
2. Entertain and engage the audience.
3. Not stigmatize or stereotype high risk groups.
4. Be unique and not afraid to push the envelope.
5. Be original to entrants and not have been released commercially in order to be eligible for consideration in this contest."

To my knowledge, no video game has been shown to be an effective public health intervention. By taking advantage of the target audience, and harnessing their promotion powers (read: ability to click send) there may be a shot at creating some buzz. If the problem with most interventions aimed at youth has been that no one sees it, the viral approach a la "Where the Hell is Matt" or "Darfur is Dying" or any Snakes on a Plane hubbub is a good start, as well as partnering with MTV. Anything that says, in not as many words, "from your health department" will never be cool enough to share.
A game that could visualize kids' social/sexual networks with a creative HIV transmission dynamics overlay would keep my attention. But a 15 year old...? Who knows.

1 comment:

Webconomist said...

Hey, this is good information. The more the message gets out across mutliple mediums the better. As a marketer who used to be in the world of HIV, I can appreciate your efforts. I blog about HIV economics at Slimconomy.blogpsot.

Glad your addressing what many are afraid to.