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.