Patrick Jagoda

The Test

digital game


Created with: Game Changer Chicago Design Lab
Support: National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant

The Test is a mobile game prototype designed to improve rates of HIV testing among young men who have sex with men.

Despite persistent efforts to curb the spread of HIV in the United States, approximately 50,000 new infections occur each year. Comprising only 17% of the US population, adolescents (ages 13 to 24) account for approximately 26% of new HIV infections. Young men who have sex with men account for approximately 72% of all new infections among adolescents. Responding to these conditions, The Test is an intervention focused on adolescents at high risk for HIV/AIDs, predominately African American and Latino young men who have sex with men, ages 14-19, on the South and West Sides of Chicago.

The Test is made up of a series of short interactive episodes that represent different parts of the HIV testing process. In its rapid movement among mini-games, The Test draws formally from the popular genre of party videogames, such as Mario Party (1998-) and WarioWare series (2003-). These mini-games serve as interactive metaphors for several persistent roadblocks to testing, including lack of health insurance, discrimination, fear of stigma tied to HIV positive status, and the breakdown of social networks.