Using Games to Teach about the Perils of Underage Drinking

June 15, 2011 -

Five students from the sixth-grade class at Milton M. Somers Middle School (in Southern Maryland) found themselves playing video games in school to learn about why underage drinking isn't all that cool. The game asked questions about healthy lifestyles and the dangers of underage drinking and provided moments of activity to keep things interesting. It was created by the Century Council, an Arlington, Virginia-based nonprofit group funded by a group of distillers that includes Diageo, Bacardi and Brown-Forman.

To play the game, five students tap their feet on a pad to make onscreen characters run and jump along a seaside path or down a supermarket aisle. The quicker they tapped, the faster they ran in the game. The game pauses at times to ask a series of true or false questions, including whether drinking is cool, if alcohol enhances athleticism or helps get better grades, and whether it was OK to say "no" to friends who pressure them to drink liquor.

The activity was part of The Century Council's "Ask, Listen, Learn: Kids and Alcohol Don't Mix" initiative, which encourages middle school students to talk with their parents and role models about the perils of underage drinking. The play session was attended by former New York congresswoman Susan Molinari - who chairs the council, and U.S. Rep. Steny H. Hoyer.

"We need you healthy and sharp and at the top of your game, getting good grades and performing well and making America a greater country than it even is today," Hoyer told the students.

The game will remain at the school for use in the future.

Source: SMDNews


Comments

Re: Using Games to Teach about the Perils of Underage ...

Seems to me like all it does is turn alcohol into a forbidden fruit making kids want it even more. Also, stopping kids from drinking is like trying to stop the earth from revolving around the sun, it's not gonna happen. If they see adults doing it and enjoying it, they're going to want to do it to.

P.S. - I don't see a problem with responsibile teen drinking (a.k.a. - one or two beers or a glass of wine at a meal) BTW, the 21 age limit in the U.S. is rediculous. 18 you can vote, be drafted off to war, be sentanced to death for a crime but can't have a fucking beer. Moronic.

  "No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

"No law means no law" - Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

Re: Using Games to Teach about the Perils of Underage ...

Seems a bit puritan - there's nothing wrong with drinking in moderation, after all - so I hope it doesn't turn kids into zealous prohibitionists or such. Better to fall on the side of safety I suppose?

Re: Using Games to Teach about the Perils of Underage ...

"puritan" ? Why do you say that? Because it tries to get kids to not drink before the legal age of 21? Because it shows the perils of getting drunk?

E. Zachary Knight
Divine Knight Gaming

Re: Using Games to Teach about the Perils of Underage ...

I use that word since it seems (And if anyone can elaborate on the features of the game, I'm all ears) to be one-sided, as if it could possibly lead kids to believing alcohol is wrong, period. Do they say that adults can drink responsibly to relax? There's a difference between drinking and getting drunk after all.

Education about alcohol - brilliant, we need it. But does the game make blanket statements about alcohol that could lead kids to believe alcohol is inherently evil or such?

Re: Using Games to Teach about the Perils of Underage ...

The game is targeted at kids with the emphasis on underage drinking. If you are under 21 you cannot legally drink. So if the game is about completely avoiding alcohol, it is correct in that people under 21 should.

E. Zachary Knight
Divine Knight Gaming

Re: Using Games to Teach about the Perils of Underage ...

That's fine, but what I want to know is: what facts are they teaching them? Is it along the lines of (Made-up facts to make a point here) "500,000 people a year die of liver poisoning" or "How quickly does alcohol destroy your liver?" or so? Are they giving a firm warning about underage drinking or are they scaring them from alcohol for life?

Granted, this game is for the US, but it's a world of difference to places like France where children have wine during meals with their parents.

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