In partnership with the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), Warner Bros. and Virtual Heroes applied their core competencies to develop an action-based videogame pilot that is delivering targeted HIV prevention messages to East African youth in Kenya.
The videogame combines traditional game play with messages aimed at changing behavior, focusing on five key behaviors that can reduce HIV infections among youth: delaying the onset of sexual activity, abstinence, avoiding multiple sex partners, correct and consistent condom use, and uptake of voluntary counseling and testing services. The pilot game is called “Pamoja Mtaani,” which is Swahili for “Together in the Hood.”
Pamoja Mtaani is an open-world game that allows up to five players in select youth centers throughout Nairobi to work together through a collection of twitch mini-games. Each player takes on the role of a unique character and play through a quest that has been developed to be both fun and educational. Top Kenyan hip-hop artists were tapped to provide relevant and inspirational original music for use exclusively in the game.
A team of 25 people spent 10 months working on the game. Team members from Virtual Heroes and WBIE traveled to Kenya several times to get a better understanding of the culture that plays a larger role in the serious game and ensure that the gameplay connected with Kenyan youth.
The game development is part of The Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation, a public-private partnership among PEPFAR and businesses with critical core competencies such as messaging, new technologies and market research.
- Pamoja Mtaani : Breaking New Ground in Gaming Read more.