MTV educates teens with ME
In the UK, MTV has launched an educational advergame to guide teens through young life’s sensitive issues. The edugame has been produced with the support of Y-Peer (the Youth Peer Education Network) and it represents a great example of online communication to teens (see also the recent French project).
“ME” it’s a “point & click” experience, not very intuitive at first sight, but actually very much in line (and inspired) with the Lucas Art’s Monkey Island series we all loved ages ago. Despite being based on such an “old” mechanism, the game has on the contrary a very contemporary look & feel surely appealing for today’s youth audience.
As Rob from Preloaded explained me, ME is set across four locations, in which the players push the story forward by solving puzzles, making decisions and participating in exchanges with other characters they meet along the way. As they progress, a virtual PDA collects further reading for them on the subject matters they have encountered or tackled during the game, which they can print to keep and read later. Issues concerning sex and sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, drink and drug abuse, bullying and other social topics are covered without being condescending or patronising, with humour and choice playing a large part.
Of course, before starting the edugame players can also create their own avatar adding that touch of personalization to the action we all enjoy to have in a sort of adventure action.
ME is part of an MTV’s integrated campaign called Staying Alive that aims at educating teens on the risks of drugs and unprotected sex. Have a look at the site, it’s worth a visit, for the contents, of course, but also for its design.