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Blurred Minds

For each year that alcohol use is delayed, the risk of future alcohol dependence is reduced by 10%. Blurred Minds overarching aim is to delay drinking initiation for as long as possible. Blurred Minds is a gamified alcohol education program delivered in Australian secondary schools. The program features five lessons that create a fun and interactive environment to teach students about the serious consequences of alcohol and drugs.

Blurred Minds was created using the 3-step social marketing process: co-create, build, and engage (CBE).

Read on to learn how we applied the CBE process to build Blurred Minds.

Figure 1 - The CBE process

1. Co-create

Blurred Minds involved key stakeholder groups (students, teachers, experts) to understand their views prior to program build.

We used a range of research methods including a systematic literature review, a segmentation study, and co-design sessions to understand student learning preferences and ideal modes of delivery. Three theories (Theory of Gamified Learning, Social Cognitive Theory and Theory of Planned Behaviour) informed and guided the team throughout the CBE process.

An important insight gained from this step was that the program must engage first and provide education second.

2. Build

The marketing mix guided the build of the Blurred Minds program (service), featuring a range of offline activities and online games that are offered at a cost to schools (price). The program is offered in schools (place) and advertised through email (promotion).

The principles of gamification underpinned the design of Blurred Minds and the program features a range of online and offline games to engage students. A suite of online games  along with five offline gaming activities were created (see Figure 2).

Deso Driver Game

A screenshot of the Deso Driver game

Alcohol Trivia Show

A screenshot of the Alcohol Trivia game

Figure 2 - Exemplary online games from Blurred Minds

Perfect Pour Game

A screenshot of the Perfect Pour game

Engage students with virtual reality

Blurred Minds also featured the first virtual reality (VR) house party (see Video). Using a VR simulation, students can decide on how their party should unfold facing real life scenarios. Their choices will determine how and when their night ends.

3. Engage

To date, Blurred Minds has been delivered in more than 50 schools to more than 4,500 14-16-year-old students.

Changes in knowledge and attitude chart

Figure 3 - Changing knowledge and attitudes for the better

Students that participated in Blurred Minds increased their knowledge, had more negative attitudes towards binge drinking while maintaining low intentions to binge drink (see Figure 3).

National press coverage of the program reached more than 1.8 million Australians across major news stations:

Four different news station logos

"This program (Blurred Minds) is more than changing attitudes, it is changing culture."

(John Percy, Executive Officer – Education, Queensland Catholic Education Commission).

Blurred Minds resources have also been made available via a FREE teacher kit. Program materials have been accessed by schools in Australia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Greece and Turkey. Web analytics report 30,000 website visits, 10,000 gameplays and more than 350 teacher kit downloads from health and physical education teachers.

The resources have been incorporated into the Queensland Department of Education alcohol and other drugs education program, and materials have been used by 1/3 of all Queensland schools.

If you are interested to learn more about the Blurred Minds program, or to enquire about facilitating the program at your school, please contact Dr Timo Dietrich at t.dietrich@griffith.edu.au or socialmarketing@griffith.edu.au.

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