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Make It Like the Real World: Adolescents’ Recommendations for the Design of a Digital HIV Prevention Game

Enah, C., Moneyham, L., Vance, D. E., Gakumo, C. A., & Chandler, M


Digital games have shown promise in studies focusing on disease prevention and disease self-management in children and young adolescents. The purpose of this study was to gather formative data for the design of an HIV prevention game for adolescents. Qualitative research methods that included focus group sessions with four groups of adolescents were used (N = 38). Content analysis strategies were used to analyze verbatim transcripts and observational notes. Themes emerging from the data included: players’ control, virtual reward systems, immersive action, and the need for tailoring. Findings are being used in the design of a digital game that is responsive to recommendations to “make it like the real world.” HIV prevention strategies could benefit from incorporating emerging technologies that are inherently attractive to many adolescents. Adolescent participants support the use of digital games in HIV prevention and wanted such games to reflect their lives.

Link to Scopus