Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 587
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Conference Details
International Committee
Plenary Speakers
Presenting Speakers
Scientific Committee
Abstract #587  -  Information Technologies
  17.3: Information Technologies (Parallel) on Monday @ 14.30-16.00 in Mirador Chaired by Ferran Pujol,
Rich Wolitski

  Presenting Author:   Dr. Leslie Snyder - University of Connecticut, United States
  Additional Authors:   
To demonstrate the potential for video games as a format for HIV interventions through two evidence based projects, and discuss a model for matching the needs of the target group, behavior change techniques (Abraham & Michie, 2008; Michie, et al., 2011), and video game intervention design.
Method / Issue:
HIV/AIDS outreach to target populations faces many challenges, including disinterest in the topic, message fatigue, intervention recruitment difficulties, and lack of adherence to interventions. Education/entertainment approaches have been demonstrated to attract people to fun interventions that can lead to behavior change. Video games are a relatively new intervention medium, and are particularly suited for some target groups that have little inclination to participate in small group or individual counseling. Through careful design, video games can use many different behavior change techniques to promote positive HIV/AIDS outcomes. For some behavior change techniques, games may even be a superior approach to group and individual counseling. The model is applied to two video games that promoted safer sex for different target groups.
Results / Comments:
Both games were immersive, interactive, allowed for customization of the player?s avatar, and featured multiple risk settings with multiple partners. The first game, Nightlife, was aimed at low SES, heterosexual African-American men 18-30 years old. The more men played the game, the greater their chance of having an HIV/STI test at four months posttest. The interactive PC game used narrative, meters, minigames, modeling, and was marketed as regular (not educational) game. The second game, Ride 3D, was aimed at 18-24 year old men who have sex with men in the United States. Preliminary analyses indicate that the intervention increased safe sex behavioral intentions, self-efficacy, and consideration of future consequences while reducing feelings of shame. Reductions in shame predicted reductions in risky sexual behavior at 3-month follow-up. A slightly aged version of the player?s avatar served as a game guide, modeled behavior, and consolidated learning. At the end of the game, this virtual future self character provided a detailed recap of the player?s choices and linked them to future consequences.
Video games can be used successfully to attract people to interventions who otherwise may not participate, engage them in interventions over time, and result in behavior change. The features of the video game are crucial to the potential impact. Games can be designed to promote many different behavior change techniques, including providing information and instruction, setting and prompting review of goals and performance, modeling, motivational interviewing, reinforcing cues for action, and time management. In addition to being easily extended to other risk contexts and populations, games can be rapidly disseminated via the Internet ? affording an opportunity to provide effective HIV interventions to diverse, hard-to-reach populations.
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