Virtual Worlds Feed

July 27, 2010


Games for Health 2010

By Michelle Samplin-Salgado, New Media Strategist

Games for Health 2010

We attended the Games for Health 2010 Exit Disclaimer conference in Boston, Massachusetts to learn more about how video games and virtual worlds are being used to increase physical activity, train health care providers, and advocate HIV/AIDS information and prevention methods among youth. Now in its 6th year, the three-day conference was developed in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Exit Disclaimer to convene public healthcare professionals and providers with game developers to bring innovative solutions to everyday issues in public health.

We talked to Lynn Fiellin, M.D., Associate Professor of Medicine at the Yale University School of Medicine Exit Disclaimer. Dr. Fiellin is Principal Investigator for a NIH-funded project to develop a behavioral changing HIV prevention video game. We asked her to tell us about her project, why she chose video games as an intervention for HIV and what advice she had for the HIV/AIDS community.

Continue reading "Games for Health 2010" »

June 18, 2009


I Know. I Took The Test: Stories from Second Life

Podcast of this blog post

Interview of Jena Ball by Michelle Samplin-Salgado

Jena Ball and Michelle Samplin-Salgado in Second Life

Jena Ball and Michelle Samplin-Salgado in Second Life

We’ve shared HIV testing story intiatives from the Southern AIDS Living Quilt, POZ magazine, and the National Association of People with AIDS leading up to National HIV Testing Day. Today’s post will take us “in world” to some virtual testing day story initiatives happening in Karuna Exit Disclaimer, the National Library of Medicine’s Exit Disclaimer island for AIDS outreach and information in the virtual world of Second Life. Though these stories are from avatars Exit Disclaimer, they are equally as “real” as the others we’ve shared. I spoke to Jena Ball, Project Coordinator of Karuna (Jenaia Morane in Second Life). She told me about the Karuna’s new story initiative, “Healing Quests” that was launched in honor of National HIV Testing Day:

Continue reading "I Know. I Took The Test: Stories from Second Life" »

December 09, 2008


World AIDS Day 2008: The Power of YOU

Podcast of this blog post

December 1 marked the 20th annual observance of World AIDS Day Exit Disclaimer. At, we used several new media tools to commemorate this day. We invited you to blog, to upload photos of yourself wearing a red ribbon to social network sites, and to join us in the virtual world of Second Life. But today’s blog post is not so much about what we did—it’s about YOU.

Facing AIDS

We asked you to help reduce HIV stigma by posting a photo of yourself wearing a red ribbon to your online social networks--showing that you care about HIV/AIDS and helping to promote HIV testing.

How YOU responded

You responded in full force. Nearly 700 of you joined the Facebook group Exit Disclaimer, and 460 RSVP’d for the Facebook event. Exit Disclaimer In addition nearly 200 of you posted photos to the Flickr Exit Disclaimer group. You passed the word to your friends, and you posted discussions and comments about what World AIDS Day means to you. Avatars in Second Life, drag queens in England, and our parents in the Midwest sent us photos. Our colleagues at the CDC took great initiative in generating a workplace photo response--even CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding uploaded a photo! One of you took a photo of the Empire State building lit up with red lights, and another submitted a photo of your son who died of an AIDS-related illness. Some of the photos are below - and we encourage you to visit our Flickr page to see many more. Also, if you haven’t already, it’s not too late to upload your photo!

Bloggers Unite

We partnered with NIDA and Bloggers Unite Exit Disclaimer to encourage bloggers to dedicate their posts on December 1 to HIV/AIDS.

How YOU responded

You responded with posts more powerful (and plentiful) than we could have anticipated. We are still reading all the posts and following the conversations Exit Disclaimer you generated. You got the word out, told your stories, linked to resources, and told your communities, your friends, families, and readers why HIV/AIDS matters to you. Some of the bloggers that inspire the team, like Beth Kanter Exit Disclaimer and NTEN’s Holly Ross Exit Disclaimer, also dedicated their blog to World AIDS Day.

World AIDS Day in Second Life

Our colleagues in Second Life invited us to speak at the opening of Karuna Exit Disclaimer, the first island in Second Life solely dedicated to HIV/AIDS information, support, and education. We accepted the invitation and created our avatars, virtual posters, and note cards for the event.

How YOU responded

Almost 500 people (or rather, their avatars) visited Karuna on World AIDS Day - and for many of you it was your first time exploring this virtual world. Our colleagues in Atlanta, Maryland, Virginia, California, and North Carolina created their own avatars and took the unfamiliar plunge into Second Life. People who had lost friends and loved ones came to the event to share their stories and remember.

But that’s not all...

There were many, many other World AIDS Day events and activities that involved new media. We were inspired by the following examples - a small sample of the many:

YOU make the difference.

Thank you. For caring enough to take photos. For telling your friends. For telling your stories about HIV/AIDS. For embracing new media for social change.

We were inspired by your creativity and compassion. YOUR involvement in the many World AIDS Day 2008 new media activities demonstrated the potential power of new media. But more importantly, it shows the power of YOU.

Now what?

We learned a lot from you this World AIDS Day - and we have a lot more to learn. Now that the dust has settled, we’re taking the time to ask ourselves: moving forward, how should we use new media to respond to HIV/AIDS? What worked well? What could have worked better? What do YOU think?

November 11, 2008


World AIDS Day in Second Life

Podcast of this blog post

World AIDS Day Second Life Poster

World AIDS Day Second Life Poster

World AIDS Day (December 1) is less than a month away! One of our many World AIDS Day activities will be our participation in a Second Life Exit Disclaimer (SL) 2008 World AIDS Day event. As we mentioned in a previous post about SL, virtual worlds can be an effective way to reach people with HIV resources and information. Thanks to a generous grant from the National Library of Medicine, the Alliance Library System Exit Disclaimer (which also developed Health Info Island Exit Disclaimer) will open a brand new SL island Exit Disclaimer on World AIDS Day. That island will be dedicated to HIV/AIDS education, outreach, and support.

In preparation for the SL event, we sat down (in SL, of course) with two of the event’s organizers, Ricken Flow (Rick Davis in the real world) and Jenaia Morane Exit Disclaimer (Jena Ball in real life). Rick and Jena are both doing HIV work in SL and told us a bit about their experiences.

Continue reading "World AIDS Day in Second Life" »

July 01, 2008


Second Life (Part 2 of "We Are Living in a Virtual World")

Screen shot of Michelle Samplin-Salgado's second life avatar, Ellehcim Fizzle

This week we build on our June 10 post about virtual worlds and focus on the well-known site, Second Life Exit Disclaimer.

To better understand how Second Life can help share HIV information and provide support to those who are HIV-positive, we continued our conversation with our colleagues from the NIH-funded Health Info Island, Lori Bell and Carol Perryman. Through our own adventures in Second Life, we also learned from two HIV advocates, Felicita Gonzalez from the Bronx AIDS Services Exit Disclaimer and Matt Cox, an Australian and owner of the Planet Positive Group in Second Life.

Continue reading "Second Life (Part 2 of "We Are Living in a Virtual World")" »


Change text size:

smaller bigger

Exit Disclaimer Exit Disclaimer Links marked with this image go to non-government websites.

Add to Technorati Favorites blog syndicated content powered by: FeedBurner