Abstract: Mobile learning is the convergence of mobile computing and e-learning. Mobile learning solutions are highly effective and mobile learning content delivery has been rated as a successful ICT based learning method for development communication and edutainment. Tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS have become serious health concerns in India. It is the youth that comprise the larger share of the patients afflicted by them. Several edutainment strategies using low cost mobile phones as media are being tried by national and international organizations to run awareness campaigns about these diseases. To study the efficacy of some of these games, two games on HIV and AIDS and Tuberculosis were selected. The games were tested on a sample of urban youth in Delhi. Semi structured interview schedules were used to collect data from the youth. An objective type awareness test on based on the information contained in the games was prepared and administered to the respondents before and after playing the games to assess any change in awareness about the diseases before and after playing the games. It was found that all the youth had played mobile phone games to entertain themselves and compete with their friends with in the privacy of their home or in public places as per their convenience. The mobile phone games were liked by a large number of respondents as they were reported to be easy to play, very interesting and challenging and entertaining. Almost all the youth wanted to acquire these games in their own mobile phones and share them with their friends and family. Most of the youth were not aware about the process of downloading such games in their phones. Analysis of the Awareness Test clearly indicated an increase in awareness about HIV and AIDS and Tuberculosis after playing the games. The youth gave several suggestions to improve the games. New mobile phone edutainment games were suggested on health (particularly reproductive health), social issues, and environment and on topics from the school syllabus of the youth. The youth expressed a keen desire to participate in designing mobile phone games for edutainment. Feedback from the youth clearly indicates that mobile phone based games are quiet successful in entertainment-education and thus should form an essential part of any development communication strategy.
Keywords: mobile learning, mobile phone games, HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis, development communication, health awareness