FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Challenge Brings Fight Against Epidemic Online and Builds on Success of "Darfur is Dying," Now Played Over 2 Million Times
New York, NY - January 25, 2007 - mtvU, MTV's 24-hour college network, and the Kaiser Family Foundation today announced the "Change the Course of HIV Challenge" - a competition offering college students digital tools to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in the United States. The challenge asks gamers, activists or any student with a great idea to propose a viral, Web-based video game concept to help raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among 15-24 year olds in the US and to promote personal action in response to the epidemic. The winning individual or team will work with mtvU and the Kaiser Family Foundation - which are committing $75,000 to the development and marketing of the game - to see their idea realized.
"No undergrad in school today has known a world without HIV/AIDS and a new young person someplace in the world is infected every 15 seconds," said Stephen Friedman, GM, mtvU. "Through this challenge, we hope to inspire college students to use the power of online gaming to engage their peers, re-awaken them to the magnitude of this deadly virus and effect prevention."
"The competition is designed to help us reach young people in a different and engaging way to help inform them about HIV/AIDS and spur action," said Tina Hoff, Vice President and Director, Entertainment Media Partnerships, Kaiser Family Foundation. "As HIV remains the great public health challenge of this generation, it's essential to find new and creative ways to engage and inform young people about the epidemic."
mtvU and the Kaiser Family Foundation are looking for innovative, interactive concepts for video games that will spread rapidly online. Proposed projects should raise awareness about HIV/AIDS among young people in the US, identify ways to stop its spread, and address the silence, stigma and discrimination surrounding the disease. The challenge is open to college students nationwide and the deadline for submissions is March 16th, 2007. For more information and to submit an idea, please visit mtvU.com.
The "Change the Course of HIV Challenge" follows on the success of "Darfur is Dying" ( www.DarfurisDying.com), a student-developed, viral video game - now played more than 2 million times by over 1 million people - and a key element of mtvU's Emmy Award-winning Sudan campaign. "Darfur is Dying" is a narrative-based simulation where the user, from the perspective of a displaced Darfurian, negotiates forces that threaten the survival of his or her refugee camp.
About The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is a non-profit, private operating foundation dedicated to providing information and analysis on health issues to policymakers, the media, and the general public. It is not associated with Kaiser Permanente or Kaiser Industries. Information on HIV/AIDS is available at www.kff.org, and a daily news summary report on developments in HIV/AIDS is available on www.kaisernetwork.org, the Foundation's free health information service.
Broadcasting to 750 colleges across the country, with a combined enrollment of over 7.2 million, mtvU is the largest, most comprehensive television network just for college students. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, mtvU can be seen in the dining areas, fitness centers, student lounges and dorm rooms of campuses throughout the U.S. mtvU is dedicated to every aspect of college life, reaching students everywhere they are, through a three pronged approach - on-air, online and on campus. mtvU focuses on content including music videos from emerging artists which can't be seen anywhere else, news, student life features, events and pro-social initiatives. mtvU is always on campus, with more than 500 events per year, including exclusive concerts, giveaways, shooting mtvU series and more. For more information about mtvU, and for a complete programming schedule, visit www.mtvU.com.
mtvU.com makes mtvU the first MTV Networks channel distributed in its entirety via broadband, streaming 24/7 and on demand, featuring all of mtvU plus exclusive new music, original series and student-produced programming for college students and music fans everywhere.
mtvU also owns and operates Y2M, parent company of College Publisher - the largest interactive network of online college newspapers in the US. The network comprises 500 campus publications that serve institutions including Brown University, the University of Illinois, the University of Southern California, the University of Texas at Austin and Duke University, with a combined enrollment of over 5.5 million students and a subscriber base of 2.1 million.
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with more than 120 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services - MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, VH1 CLASSIC, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, with all of these networks trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 100 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
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