Playing the AIDS Game in China

The AIDS epidemic in China is huge and of serious concern to a lot of people (the best work I've seen to date is the wonderful and heartbreaking To Live Is Better Than To Die, an underground documentary by Chen Weijun on a hushed-up tragedy in Henan), but the Ministry of Education is using computers and 'games' of the quiz variety to fine effect:

Launched by the Ministry of Education and sponsored by the China AIDS Roadmap Tactical Support Project, the contest ran for three months last year, yet its effect continue - the site remains up and nearly 19 million people have logged on.

In a survey of participants, 95 percent found the test enhanced their understanding and concern for the HIV-infected and AIDS patients; the same proportion felt better equipped to protect themselves against the disease; and more than 83 percent thought the contest should take place regularly.

The girl interviewed in the article is from Yunnan, the province with the worst numbers in terms of infection. The government still isn't doing enough by most accounts, but even educational quiz games are a step in the right direction.

Students take up AIDS challenge [China Daily via PlayNoEvil, photo Wu Shuibin]


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