$75 K for winning HIV-AIDS video game concept

Interesting to see that mtvU (an MTV college network) and the Kaiser Family Foundation (innovative entertainment education initiatives) today announced the “Change the Course of HIV Challenge”.

The health goal is 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 – this part will be particularly interesting – to promote personal action in response to the epidemic. The winner works with the sponsors, and $ 75,000 USD, to develop and market the game.

The“Change the Course of HIV Challenge” follows on the success of “Darfur is Dying” (a student-developed, viral video game), which has been played by over a million people.

Deadline is March 16th.

Other interesting initiatives that bridge entertainment and education with HIV-AIDS information campaigns include Viacom/CBS partnering on KNOW HIV/AIDS, Kenneth Cole’s We All Have AIDS, India’s Heroes Project, Russia’s Stop SPID (AIDS), and the African American youth-targeted Rap It Up.

The Global Media AIDS Initiative, launched in 2004, aims at the media leader and programming decision-maker level, working to inject HIV-AIDS messages into all kinds of programming.

In the city of New York, 100, 000 people have HIV or AIDS.  To the population at large, the city of New York hands out 720, 000 free condoms a year.  Some health officials think they should be considering package design, figuring that they’re missing out on some tremendous opportunities for branding.

If they don’t go with an image of the vein-like NYC transit system, maybe they could find a third-party funder enabling KFF to use the condoms to promote the winning game.

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