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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james_fudgeQuiknkold: Let me ask you- how many of those 'gamers are dead' articles did you see here? Because apparently i'm part of some vast conspiracy.09/18/2014 - 5:18am
NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldpeople should not be harrassed and punished for the actions of a few. I've always welcomed and accepted everybody who wanted to join in. Who wanted to make them, or play them. I love good strong female protagonists, and want more.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldOne of the tennants of Gamergate is to stand up against Harrassment. That Gamers arent like those assholes. We can argue for days if the Sexism or Antifeminism or corruption is there or not, But the one thing I believe in and wear on my sleave is that09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldBut there were these websites, attacking me and people like me, for the actions of a few. and then others joined in on Twitter and other places. there was a hashtag that said "explain in 4 words a gamer" and it made me sick.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
quiknkoldManchildren who are awful people and that the Identity of the Gamer should die. This hurt me personally. I've always identified as a Gamer. Even in my childhood years, I was a Gamer. All my friends are Gamers. Its one of the core parts of my identity.09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldUltimately, With the whole Gamergate thing, I jumped on it due to the harassment. A small number of assholes harrass Anita and Zoe, and then all the publications lumped together Gamers as this collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling09/17/2014 - 7:34pm
quiknkoldEZacharyKnight : Lemme ask you a question. We have people who cling to walls, people who fire lasers from their eyes, people who can shapeshift....and yet fabric needs to be upheld to RL physics?09/17/2014 - 6:54pm
james_fudgebody paint?09/17/2014 - 5:33pm
E. Zachary Knightquiknkold, I stand corrected on the buttcrack thing. Still, I know of no fabric that actually does that.09/17/2014 - 5:05pm
Andrew EisenSo... it's unethical to discuss the ethics surrounding public interest vs. personal privacy?09/17/2014 - 4:45pm
prh99The source for the game was just released not long ago, it's at https://github.com/keendreams/keen09/17/2014 - 4:43pm
prh99An Indiegogo champagin bought the rights to the early 90's game Keen Dreams to make it open source and release it on GOG etc. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/let-s-get-keen-dreams-re-released-legally09/17/2014 - 4:42pm
james_fudgeAlso http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/17/2014 - 4:29pm
Andrew EisenI read the Kotaku story. Nowhere does it say anything close to "Gamers are white bigoted sexist losers." It's commenting specifically on the crap being slung at people discussing gender issues in games. So, what's the problem?09/17/2014 - 4:06pm
Andrew EisenYeah, I can imagine Spiderwoman posed like in your second link.09/17/2014 - 4:00pm
 

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