Roundtable Discussion: Serious Games for Sexual Health



Program developers and researchers in the sexual health domain have increasingly embraced technological trends as they emerge. With the emergence of serious game applications to impact health behaviors, a natural step for research enquiry will be the investigation of serious games for sexual health education. We invited a panel of sexual health researchers who are working at the intersection of sexual health behavior change and technology applications to comment on the place of serious games in furthering the field of sexual health. The panel grappled with five questions.

  1. Why games for sexual health education? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using serious games to teach sexual health and impact behavior change?
  2. What unique factors need to be taken into account when developing, implementing, and evaluating a serious game to impact sexual behaviors compared to other domains?
  3. What theories or models are important in informing the development of sexual health games, and what published references have been most informative for you?
  4. What gaming strategies (e.g., feedback, story, levels, avatars, measures of achievement) have you found most useful in designing sexual health games?
  5. What are the key issues in establishing serious games as a feasible and effective strategy for sexual health behavior change?

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