The Game of Avoiding Contagion
A press release explains the project as follows:
Fiellin’s study is designed to develop and test an interactive virtual reality-based video game called “Retro-Warriors” that will teach ethnically diverse adolescents how to make healthier choices. The research goes beyond the use of a game for education and proposes to create a world in which the game players can engage in role-playing to learn to avoid risky behaviors that could lead to HIV infection.
The study has far-reaching implications including the potential for this technology to become portable and global.
“The game could travel with the player—it could be used at home, on a console, a cell phone or a personal digital assistant,” said Fiellin, who also points to international implications. “Access to the Internet is growing in developing countries and these technologies could be transferred to adolescents in countries experiencing a growing HIV epidemic but which have limited access to targeted risk-reduction strategies.”
Again, the question might be why would anyone want not only to play this game but to play it in semi-public ways that use mobile technologies.