Games for Change

Pathways to Change
Pathways to Change is a game developed by GHC and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) founded in social cognitive theory and research. As a team, players are assigned a fictional character, someone whose life struggles are similar to their own. For example, when the game is played with young sex workers, the character might be described as an 18-year-old woman whose behavioral objective is to use condoms with every client. The team then plays the game as if they are this woman and they discuss individual, social and environmental barriers and facilitators to change for that character.

The Pathways to Change game serves multiple purposes. It helps internalize concepts of behavior change for training participants, peer educators and other project staff. At the same time, it helps project managers understand more accurately the real-life struggles of the target population, enabling project staff to modify plans and contribute qualitative information for broader programmatic purposes. Pathways to Change is therefore a training tool, an activity in itself, and a data collection method.

As the fictional characters assigned to the players are always adapted for the target population, the game can be used for a wide array of behavior change objectives: from helping Mozambican sex workers use condoms, to preventing school bullying in the inner city of Atlanta or Chicago.

Find out more through a detailed description of the “Pathways to Change” process.