Public Health Fun returns! New public health board game

Time flies. I just realised that once more, as I was looking for an older post which I thought was 2-3 months old, only to find out that I wrote it almost a year ago!

In any case, I was looking for this post as I was about to write another post on public health games (the third one; the first and the most comprehensive one can be found here). I am always on the look for new Public Health related games so I was very pleased to find out about Zones, a new Public Health Board game developed by Public Health England . I first read about it in the Guardian and I immediately had to check it out further!

This board game was developed as part of the National Youth Health Campaign of Public Health England. It was developed with the contribution of young people and it is aimed at young people (namely 11-16 and up to 19 years old). Zones encourages young people to think and talk about issues related to alcohol, smoking, sex, relationships and drugs. Ideally it is played by 3 teams consisting of up to 4 persons each and a youth leader who facilitates the game. The teams complete challenges involving discussions, myth busting and team building. Zones is offered free of charge to youth leaders, youth workers and teachers, more information here.

I find the idea of this game very interesting; unfortunately, I could not find any more information online about peoples’ experience playing it, apart from some quotes on the Public Health England website. For instance:

“I don’t always listen to adults, but here I’m more free and will listen…it’s great to play and talk with your friends” Ramiah, 13 and

“Zones enables young people to discuss sensitive subjects without feeling embarrassed…it teaches valuable life skills in an informal way, making it both unique and fun!” Helen Antoniou, Senior Youth Worker, Zone Youth Project

This game differs to the ones we talked about in our two previous posts in that it addresses problems that young people have to deal with in their every day lives, rather than natural disasters. So we see how games can be used not only to facilitate public health education for students, but also to teach and facilitate discussions about public health issues in young people of all backgrounds. Could this difference be because this game comes from Europe while most of the others come from the States, where preparedness issues are more prevalent?

Have you heard of this game? Even better, have you played this game? I would be very interested to hear your opinion and experience!

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