Online Program

Infection four: Designing games with youth for youth

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 9:15 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Melissa Gilliam, MD MPH, department of obstetrics and gynecology, The Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health at The University of Chicago, chicago, IL
Patrick Jagoda, PhD, Department of English, The University of Chicago, chicago, IL
Stephen Heathcock, BA, Center for Interdisciplinary Inquiry and Innovation in Sexual and Reproductive Health (Ci3), The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Background: Urban youth of color face tremendous disparities in sexual and reproductive health as evidenced by high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Game Changer Chicago (GCC) is an innovative, interdisciplinary, initiative at the University of Chicago in which we examine serious games, storytelling, and digital media to influence sexual and reproductive health outcomes among urban youth of color. Methods: A hallmark of the GCC program is the “vertical design studio” in which youth, students, and GCC faculty and staff work intensively and collaboratively to design games for their peers. In Summer 2012, four high school-aged youth from Chicago's South Side, one undergraduate and five graduate students, collaborated with GCC in a one-week game design workshop. We began with the loosely framed objective of creating a card game about sexual and reproductive health. Using rapid low-fidelity prototyping, iterative design, and agile development, we designed a four-person, collaborative card game: the Infection Four (I4). I4 takes you into the world of four heroes. Players learn about STIs, prevention, treatment, and use role play to face “boss level” challenges in which qualities such as humor, resilience, and compassion are used to combat monsters such as stigma, shame, and denial. Conclusions: Games, whether analog or digital, offer players interactive contexts for thinking through and experimenting with complex problems in a hands-on fashion. I4 is designed by youth for youth to promote knowledge and behaviors to address the physical, social, and emotional aspects of STIs.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe the process of developing a card game within an interdisciplinary design workshop

Keyword(s): Adolescent Health, Reproductive Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been the PI or Co-PI on multiple federally funded and foundation-funded studies of adolescent reproductive health in low income communities of color. I lead an interdisciplinary center and interdisciplinary design lab creating and studying game-based health interventions.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.