About my project in Kenya

I am in Nairobi working with the Kenya Red Cross to continue development on a climate change and health game called Humans vs. Mosquitoes (HvM). It was developed by a team of graduate students from Yale University and Parsons The New School for Design in partnership with the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre.  Originally designed as a participatory game to educate about dengue fever, my work this summer will focus on adapting the game for malaria.

For the next two months, I will be traveling down the Kenyan coast and to western Kenya to regions with a high prevalence of malaria.  My objective is to meet with representatives of the Red Cross, public health agencies and research groups to better understand the strategies and programs for malaria reduction.  I will also be facilitating HvM with several groups to improve game mechanics and clarify learning outcomes.

The data that I collect through site visits and game facilitation will be used to finalize the game for integration into existing and planned malaria programs in Kenya.  The goal is for Humans vs. Mosquitoes to serve as a unique educational tool for promoting malaria education at the community level.

Why games?

Games are a way to simulate complex, real-life situations in a simplified manner that people can understand.  They offer participants the opportunity to walk in another person’s shoes and play a role where they have to process information and make decisions accordingly.  Games are also effective tools for putting participants of different ages and backgrounds together on a level playing field in an alternative social space.  The interactive and engaging nature of the experience is a model for experiential learning that is concentrated, but informative and engaging.

For more information on Humans vs. Mosquitoes, please click the link on the sidebar to visit the game’s homepage.