Who said that studying Public Health is only about spending hours studying textbooks? It seems there are more fun ways to learn, or at least that’s the idea! I was not aware of the existence of Public Health Games till recently, when I was sent the link to the Last Straw, a board game on social determinants of health! As the website informs us:
“The Last Straw! is a fun and exciting teaching tool on the social determinants of health. The game has three objectives:
- to promote discussion about the social determinants of health;
- to help players build empathy with marginalized people and gain an awareness of players’ own social location;
- to encourage learning in a fun and supportive environment.
This game seems to be quite popular, with publications, videos and other information around it. It even has versions in french and spanish!
I would love to try it out but -as it does not come for free, I thought I would try my luck with something else!
Google did not disappoint me (almost never does!) so here are some links to online Public Health games I found. I will not reveal much about them- that would spoil half the fun!
Appears a bit slow and too simple at the beginning. I wouldn’t mind playing more but I had to start all over again when I was not active for some time…
2. The Great Flu
:This one comes from the Erasmus MC University Medical Center, Rotterdam.
It looks fancier than the one above which makes it (inevitably?) more complicated. Choose the virus, choose the response, manage the budget, monitor infections and deaths…breathe! I have to go back equipped with a fresh head and fresh coffee!
For the more old-fashioned amongst you, there are more board games out there, apart from the Last Straw!
This is a game where everyone has to work together to fight four disease outbreaks in the world. Apart from English, this game is also available in French, German, Chinese, Korean, Polish, Czech, Slovakian. Dutch, Finnish, Swedish, Japanese. Unless I missed something, this does not seem to have been developed by an educational institution, but seems to be of educational value according to at least one PH scientist
who has tried it!
And did you know that even a Medical Monopoly
exists? Since 1979, for that matter! I am too, preplaxed, as this person
by the fact that the winner is the one who fills the hospital with patients!
Public Health games- a new world to me but certainly not to everyone! The Center for Advancement of Distance Education mentioned above has a whole website dedicated to public health games and has also developed a virtual public health world in Second Life!
Let me know what is your opinion about the games I mention in the post or other ones you might be aware of.
What do you think about the use of games in Public Health education? What might be the benefits of using them and what should we be wary of?