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Educational entertainment (also referred to by the portmanteau neologismedutainment) is content designed both to educate and to entertain. It includes content that is primarily educational but has incidental entertainment value, and content that is mostly entertaining but contains educational value. It has been used by governments in various countries to disseminate information via television, including soap operas or telenovelas to influence viewers' opinions and behaviors.
Modern forms of edutainment include television productions, film, museum exhibits, and computer software which use entertainment to attract and maintain an audience, while incorporating deliberate educational content or messages.
Since the 1970s, various groups in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Latin America have used edutainment to address such health and social issues as substance abuse, immunization, teenage pregnancy, HIV/AIDS, and cancer. Initiatives in major universities, such as, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, NGOs such as PCI-Media Impact, and government agencies such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have produced edutainment content.
The term edutainment was used as early as 1948 by The Walt Disney Company to describe the True Life Adventures series.. The noun edutainment is a neologistic portmanteau used by Robert Heyman in 1973 while producing documentaries for the National Geographic Society. It was also used by Dr. Chris Daniels in 1975 to encapsulate the theme of his Millennium Project. This project later became known as The Elysian World Project. The offshoot word "Edutainer" has been used by Craig Sim Webb since before the turn of the millennium to describe an individual who offers edutainment presentations and performances.
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