Saturday, February 23, 2008

Avatars Use Condoms

Health promotion still continues to evolve in SL. Today's post is about sexual health. Although the opportunities to spread sexually transmitted diseases from avatar-to-avatar are (at this point) physiologically impossible, awareness is still key.

On my way to BodyBuilding League Fitness Center & Spa to relax in their steam room (I had just finished running on the treadmill), I noticed a condom machine. For $10L you could buy your avatar some protection. If this machine was part of a company's marketing campaign, I either didn't see or must have missed the logo or brand name. If this machine was created as a social marketing tool, then how exactly could this affect behavior change?

Although safe sex is important, are residents willing to pay $10L for a digital condom? The machine should be passing them out for free. Afterall, most real life health fairs and sex education programs offer free condoms. Also, I wish there was some informational component to this feature (such as STD statistics, etc.)

I'd be interested in what MB Chevalier will say from University of Plymouth's Sexual Health Public Education and Outreach SIM (check out their blog, too). I wonder if he is aware of this machine and other efforts like this in Second Life.

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