Background Get the Facts (GTF) is a website which provides information on sexual health and relationships to young people aged 13–17 years. In 2014, GTF ran a game design competition which resulted in the addition of an innovative sexual health education game titled Infection Protection added to the website. The use of games for learning is recognised as an innovative and engaging method of communicating important information to young people. It provided the opportunity for young people to deliver sexual health education to their peers using an interactive and engaging format.
Methods The GTF game design competition consisted of participants firstly submitting their ideas for an online sexual health education game using a game design document. Following this, willing participants took part in a two-day game jam which resulted in the game prototype for Infection Protection chosen as the winning entry. The winning team were contracted to build the game suitable for both a desktop and a mobile device as well as to finalise it to a standard that was suitable for the GTF website.
Results Infection Protection educates young people on the risk of STI transmission from having unsafe sex with multiple partners. It also demonstrates the simplicity of getting tested and treated for STIs. The game uses a simulation of characters engaging in sex with each other. The user is required to check characters for medical updates, provide safe sex packs, and send characters to the clinic for testing and treatment.
Conclusion The GTF game design competition involved young people in the planning and development of a peer-based resource, and was an innovative way to educate participants on sexual health. Further conclusions on the effectiveness of the game will be presented when preliminary evaluation data is obtained from Google Analytics and the target audience.
Disclosure of interest statement This paper is supported and funded by the WA Department of Health.