Students at Unity Collge taking part in a research study on educating students about the effects of alcohol. Alyssa Ralph tries walking with beer goggles. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily
Students at Unity Collge taking part in a research study on educating students about the effects of alcohol. Alyssa Ralph tries walking with beer goggles. Photo: Warren Lynam / Sunshine Coast Daily Warren Lynam

Students try on beer goggles in drink trial

"BEER" goggles and interactive computer games are being trialled on Sunshine Coast teenagers to see if they can help alter Australia's drinking culture.

Unity College at Caloundra is one of the first schools in Queensland to take part in Griffith University research into changing teenagers' attitudes towards alcohol.

The Year 10 students took part in the one-day Game On: Know Alcohol Program, which includes three computer games and an interactive quiz.

Marketing research fellow Dr Lisa Schuster said teenagers' attitudes to risky drinking could be "changed for the better" using a combination of classroom education and social marketing.

Preliminary findings following a pilot study at three schools showed students were more inclined to change behavioural intentions towards alcohol after participating in a series of specially designed online games and practical activities.

Dumb Driver allows students to explore through a computer game how alcohol affects driving. Using the keyboard, the driver attempts to navigate a street with various obstructions. It gets more difficult the more drinks you consume.

Perfect Pour has students stepping into the role of a bartender trying to pour one standard drink of an alcoholic beverage.

In addition, the students had the opportunity to wear "beer goggles', which try to copy the distorted view too much alcohol can give.

"We are not telling young people what to do, but we believe students will learn from their experience and their behaviour intentions will change for the better," Dr Schuster said.

Research showed young people were 239 times more likely to see an advertisement for alcohol than one promoting safe drinking.

The program had the desired impact for Year 10 student Isaac Otasui.

He said students were more able to take in the information because of the use of games.

"It is good to go around and see how your balance and sight could be affected,'' Isaac said.


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