Patrick Jagoda

InFection Four and LifeChanger Curriculum

card game


Directed with: Melissa Gilliam
Support: Office of the Vice President for Research (University of Chicago), Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture (University of Chicago), and Hive Fund for Connected Learning

InFection Four (IF4) is a multiplayer, collaborative card game about sexual health in which participants play as a superhero team. The game has two levels. In the first level, players combat sexually transmitted infections. In the second level, players select cards that describe social scenarios that require facing a difficult emotion associated with sexually transmitted infections such as shame, guilt, or stigma. The first level of gameplay seeks to familiarize players with information about STIs and viable treatments, while the second level encourages discussion of and elaboration on the social and emotional landscape of infections.

This card game emerged from a workshop run at the University of Chicago in June 2012. The workshop group included two faculty members (Melissa Gilliam and me), three design staff, five graduate and undergraduate students from a range of disciplines, and four high school youth. The game workshop used human-centered design in which audience members, or those who will benefit from the product being designed, are involved throughout the design and development process.

LifeChanger was a sexual health curriculum that ran from December 2012 until March 2013. This curriculum implemented and evaluated the InFection Four card game, along with other roleplaying and game-based exercises, in an eighth grade classroom.