Television

MTV US using search for a video game concept to spread awareness of Aids menace

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MUMBAI: mtvU, which is US broadcaster MTV's college network and the Kaiser Family Foundation have announced the "Change the Course of HIV Challenge.

This is a competition offering college students digital tools to reduce the spread of HIV/Aids among young people in the US. The challenge asks gamers, activists or any student with a great idea to propose a viral, Web-based video game concept to help raise awareness about HIV/Aids among 15-24 year olds in the US and to promote personal action in response to the epidemic.

The winning individual or team will work with mtvU and the Kaiser Family Foundation -- which are committing $75,000 to the development and marketing of the game -- to see their idea realised. mtvU GM Stephen Friedman, says, "No undergrad in school today has known a world without HIV/Aids and a new young person someplace in the world is infected every 15 seconds GM. Through this challenge, we hope to inspire college students to use the power of online gaming to engage their peers, re-awaken them to the magnitude of this deadly virus and effect prevention."

Kaiser Family Foundation VP and director, entertainment media partnerships Tina Hoff says, "The competition is designed to help us reach young people in a different and engaging way to help inform them about HIV/Aids and spur action. As HIV remains the great public health challenge of this generation, it's essential to find new and creative ways to engage and inform young people about the epidemic."

The two parties are looking for innovative, interactive concepts for video games that will spread rapidly online. Proposed projects should raise awareness about HIV/Aids among young people in the US, identify ways to stop its spread, and address the silence, stigma and discrimination surrounding the disease.

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