PlayForward: Elm City Stories
PlayForward serves as the foundation for the play2PREVENT Lab and was funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The project’s goal is to develop and evaluate an interactive videogame designed to provide at-risk young teens the opportunity to acquire and practice skills for risk reduction and HIV prevention. This videogame incorporates evidence-based concepts from prominent behavior change theories, including self-efficacy, social norms, message framing, and delay discounting.
Our team tested the effectiveness of PlayForward by conducting a randomized clinical trial involving more than 300 participants who were recruited from 12 community-based programs. Our study findings suggest PlayForward improved sexual health attitudes and knowledge, with an impact that persisted for 24 months post-gameplay. The overall low rate of sexual intercourse initiation among all participants, however, precluded our team from determining PlayForward’s impact on the primary outcome. Read more about PlayFoward’s impact here.