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Development and Evaluation of an HIV Prevention Videogame

Thursday, July 14, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

HIV Prevention Videogame

Presented by Lynn Fiellin, Director,and Kimberly Hieftje, Deputy Director, Yale Center for Health & Learning Games and the play2PREVENT Lab at Yale
Presented by Yale Center for Health & Learning Games and the play2PREVENT Lab
Co-hosted by Games4Ed, ISTE GSN, ISTE VEN, and the Education Technology Industry Network of SIIA



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Developed in partnership with Schell Games, DigitalMill, and the play2PREVENT Lab at Yale School of Medicine (, PlayForward: Elm City Stories is an interactive, role-playing videogame designed to provide at-risk young teens the opportunity to acquire and practice skills to reduce sexual risk behaviors, with the ultimate goal of preventing HIV. PlayForward is currently being evaluated in a large randomized controlled trial with 333 teens aged 11-14, and we are examining a range of outcomes including knowledge, intentions, self-efficacy and actual behaviors with data being collected at baseline, 6 weeks, 3, 6, 12, and 24 months.

Developing a videogame that involves sensitive topics, like sex, for young teens can be challenging. To help us create authentic storylines, characters, and artwork for the game, we used several tactics directly involve teens and community stakeholders in the development process.  Our formative process of developing PlayForward is well documented in peer-reviewed published articles. We hope that by sharing our experience, attendees will gain insight into the importance of engaging target audiences, like young teens, in the development of a videogame intervention.  We believe attendees will learn about valuable methods that can be used to develop a video game’s narrative, characters, and artwork, creating an authentic player experience.

Educators, researchers, practitioners, school administrators, after-school and community program leaders, and serious videogame design and developers will benefit from attending our webinar.

Lynn Fiellin Lynn E. Fiellin, MD is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine and at the Yale Child Study Center. She is also the Founder/Director of the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games and the play2PREVENT Lab at Yale. Her research focuses on developing and testing novel intervention models to promote health and reduce risk in vulnerable populations.




Kimberly Hieftje Dr. Hieftje is an Associate Research Scientist at the Yale University School of Medicine and the Deputy Director of the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games and the play2PREVENT Lab. She is currently involved in the development and evaluation of several videogame interventions. Dr. Hieftje’s research interests primarily focus on health promotion and behavior change through the use of videogames.  She has published several articles on the topic of developing serious videogames.





P2P Yale Center for Health & Learning Games and the play2PREVENT Lab
At the play2PREVENT Lab, which is now a part of the newly formed Yale Center for Health & Learning Games, our aim is to develop and evaluate videogame interventions focused on behavior change, education, health, well-being, and social intelligence, using the most rigorous scientific methods and metrics available. We are comprised of a multidisciplinary team of scientists, educators, community leaders, videogame designers and software developers and have published several articles on the topic of serious game development.

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