It's an edgy effort at sex education and exactly what an Ontario, Canada public health department needed to combat its steadily increasing number of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases in young adults 15-24.
Those in that age group in fact helped invent "Adventures in Sex City". It was launched last month by the Middlesex-London Health Unit and is an online game in which four cartoon Super Heroes work to defeat the evil Sperminator who is trying to infect Sex City with various sexually transmitted infections.
Plano Nurse Practitioner Sue Thomas says, "The content is good. This is something our children are looking at whether we know it or not."
We asked Sue Thomas to check out the game. She is with the Plano practice Personalized Women's Healthcare. Thomas liked the simple, straightforward sexual health questions The Sex Squad must answer correctly in an effort to bring back the Sperminator to the good side. But Thomas says the graphics are too graphic to get the message into the mainstream where it's needed.
Sue Thomas says, "I would love to be able to show this to kids in schools, but there's no way it's going to make it in the door."
That's just fine with parents we talked to today. Some didn't even want to see the game before deciding it isn't for them or their children. Heather Glenn of Dallas says, "I think it's ridiculous. I think parents need to assume that role for themselves to teach their children what they think they need to know."
Dallas parent Cecil Smith II calls the idea dangerous. He thinks it is good in that it is information based, but bad because it doesn't take a player's emotions into account. Cecil Smith II says, "If we're going approach it from a game standpoint, so we're saying sex is a game? What game is it? Is it Russian Roulette or is it firing without purpose? We've got plenty who have been wounded by friendly fire."
The game has gotten nearly 200,000 hits since it launched February 11th. Nearly 88,000 of them are from the U.S.