With the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2016 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey finding that 7.1 percent of students have sexual intercourse before age 13, the need for sex education in kids’ lives remains prevalent. While some adults may disagree about what age to begin sex education, kids can learn valuable information by engaging in sex education games.
Adventures in… Sex City
Sex education games targeting kids may help them develop strong values regarding sexual behavior. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) hopes as much, funding development of a video game aimed at teaching sex negotiation and refusal skills to kids ages 9 to 14. Another organization using sex education games to reach out to kids, the London-Middlesex Health Unit, created the “Adventures in… Sex City” game. Accessible at the Health Unit’s official site, the game features cartoon superheroes fighting the evil Sperminator, who tries infecting citizens with various sexually transmitted diseases and infections (STDs and STIs, respectively). Players choose one of four “Sex Squad” superhero characters and answer sex-related questions. For each correct question, players deflect the STI-ridden sperm back to the Sperminator, who loses power from his power meter with each hit. If players answer enough questions correctly, they cure the Sperminator of his STI and he rejoins the Sex Squad.
Contraception: The Board Game
Moving around a board using condom- and pill-packet-shaped pieces, kids discuss and learn sexual health and contraception when playing Contraception Education Ltd.’s “Contraception: The Board Game.” Recommended for ages 11 and up, the game features contraception- and sex-related questions and scenarios. Players roll dice to advance their pieces around the board and try collecting information from six outlets offering sexual health and contraception advice: accident/emergency units, condom machines, family planning clinics, general practitioners, pharmacies and youth sexual health organizations. Kids also may engage in “Contraception: the Computer Game” on CD, which lets one or two players participate in safer sex discussions, or lets larger groups use LCD projections or interactive whiteboards to play the games.
The Sex Ed Game
Kids try filling every piece of their “pie” in Iser Games’ “The Sex Ed Game,” available as a free trial download at the CNet site. After choosing the number of players, kids click on one of four possible answers for each question; correct answers earn players points and pieces to their “Trivial Pursuit”-looking pie, while incorrect answers cost players points. The game ends when each piece of a player’s “pie” fills in.
The Sex Game
Players slither toward letters and avoid making contact with baddies in “The Sex Game,” accessible at the Avert AIDS international charity site. Sex-related statements appear on the screen with a missing word. Players use their mouse to move the pink snake toward the letters that make up the missing word, earning more points for grabbing the letters in the correct order. As players progress through levels, the snake’s tail grows longer. If players get too close to the black-circled baddies, the baddies attack and cost players’ lives. Should the baddies guard any letters, players should make the baddies chase them. The game ends when players lose all five of their lives.