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Video Game Teaches Kenyan Youth HIV-Safety 75

QuackenDuck writes "The latest video-game headlines are all about virtual sex, violence, and taxes. Here's a story that turns the 'Think of the Children' battle-cry against games on its head. VOA News reports on how the video game medium is being used to educate Kenyan youths about risky behaviors that lead to HIV infection: 'Kenya has an HIV prevalence rate of about five percent, with young women among the most vulnerable to new infection. Now, the US government and a private entertainment company have teamed up to produce and distribute a video game that teaches Kenyan youth how to avoid contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.' Many parts of the world are gritty, violent and dangerous, and this game designer is using gritty, violent and dangerous content to teach the children of Kenya."
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Video Game Teaches Kenyan Youth HIV-Safety

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 16, 2009 @05:57AM (#27208043)

    More seriously, I think the flaw in the right wing argument is the assumption that teenagers need any promoting to figure out they want to have sex

    No, they're right about that. In my teenage years, I had a lot of romantic ideals. I didn't really care about having sex until pressure from my peers and the media convinced me that it was the best thing ever and my life was worthless if I didn't have it.*
    The real flaw in the right wing's argument is that the promotion is going to come from society, regardless of anything they might try to do at school or in the family.

    (*: This turned out to be false.)

  • by Quothz ( 683368 ) on Monday March 16, 2009 @07:00AM (#27208291) Journal

    Why does this seem like something the same people protesting Sexual Education in our American schools, to kids EXACTLY the same age, would support?

    Because... they did. This is funded largely by PEPFAR,* an organization legislated in '03 with strong bipartisan support, and signed into law by - that's right - Dubya Bush, who is a very vocal proponent of abstinence-only sex ed. Hee hee!

    PEPFAR notes that they distribute 2.2 billion condoms from 2004 to 2008. Alas, President Bush was unable to hand-sign them all, but he did sign for renewed (and increased) funding late in '08.

    *Okay, it's not clear how much of the bill PEPFAR's picking up. Warner Bros. appears to be footing the remainder. PEPFAR spends a lot, tho', overall; something over $9 billion a year at the moment.

  • by wisty ( 1335733 ) on Monday March 16, 2009 @07:16AM (#27208377)

    Free gun training is a fair analogy. It would promote gun use, but also make the gun use safer, unless the gun user meant to cause harm.

    Likewise, sex education will promote (slightly) more sex, and safer sex. It might also be bad business for brothels in the bible belt.

    I guess the morality of either plan would depend on your worldview.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger