Home Parenting A game that’s standing up to underage drinking

A game that’s standing up to underage drinking

by Tania Griffin

A purpose-built and research-based gamified experience is using the metasphere and its captive younger audiences to enable under 18s to be alcohol-free and to help their peers avoid the threat presented by underage consumption of alcoholic beverages.

Statistics suggest that nearly half (49.2%) of South African high school students have consumed alcohol. Aware.org is now stepping up measures to eradicate underage drinking by taking the battle to the virtual realm with the launch of RoVille Rescue: The Lost Items.

The game enriches Aware.org.za’s multifaceted approach that includes community mobilisation to prevent underage drinking in the first place; early interventions with at-risk learners to help them stop using alcohol before it causes further harm to their mind, body and healthy development; rehabilitation programmes to close the loop; and mass media to spread awareness and encourage positive public engagements.

“Underage drinking is a persistent challenge that demands innovative solutions,” says Mokebe Thulo, head of Brand at Aware.org.za. “By launching RoVille Rescue, we’re reaching out to young audiences right where they are. This initiative empowers them to make informed choices about alcohol consumption. Together, we can crush underage drinking and build a future free from its harmful effects.”

In today’s age, when global media drowns out traditional communication channels, RoVille Rescue is an appealing media choice for adolescents who are exposed to peer pressure, alcohol that is within easy reach, and other negative influences. Nestled within the metaverse environment of the Roblox platform, RoVille Rescue is a vibrant social space where young adventurers can embark on a quest to uncover the truth about underage drinking.

“Join us in RoVille Rescue, a space where we cleverly demonstrate the potential consequences of underage drinking and spark positive discussions that mobilise young people to commit to the #NOtoU18 movement and help create safer virtual and real-world environments for adolescents,” highlights Thulo.

As players journey through RoVille Rescue, they encounter various challenges designed to test their knowledge, attitude, wits, wisdom and decision-making when facing social situations and the results of associated factors such as access to alcohol and peer pressure. While traversing around the RoVille metaverse, gamers have the opportunity to learn and grow during every step of their journey.

The experience aims to encourage the youth, gamers and other individuals to face up to, and witness, the results of these circumstances firsthand – but under the game’s safe boundaries. 

So grab the youth gamers in your life, and encourage them to join in the RoVille Rescue: The Lost Items challenge. Together, we can save the day and build a brighter, sober future for all!

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