Developing a Narrative-Oriented Game-Based Sexual Assault Intervention for High School Youth
Objective: To describe the development of Bystander, a digital game for high school students about sexual violence intervention.
Methods: The game Bystander was designed in a university-based game design lab. Bystander tells the story of three high school students and is supported by mini-games through which the player learns about and practices distinct bystander behaviors (e.g., direct intervention, post-assault survivor support, and seeking proactive advocacy opportunities). Fifty youth ages 14-18 were recruited to play, provide feedback, and pretest the game for its acceptability, relatability, and it effect on rape myth acceptance and attitudes towards bystander behaviors.
Results: Participants provided critical feedback on Bystander’s content and aesthetics. Findings from these data were iteratively incorporated into the design and development of the game. Effects on rape myth acceptance and attitudes towards bystander intervention from pre to post-game assessment will be discussed.
Discussion: Bystander may be an accessible and engaging tool for promoting sexual violence bystander intervention, appropriate and scalable for use in a variety of educational settings. Future research should investigate the benefits, drawbacks, and efficacy of narrative digital games compared to that of traditional in-person interventions for sexual violence bystander interventions.
Learning Areas:Public health or related education
Describe the development of a digital game for high school students using the Bystander approach to sexual assault prevention. Discuss how digital games and interactive narratives can be used as acceptable and effective methods for teaching essential, yet sensitive, health content to adolescents.
Keyword(s): Youth, Sexual Assault
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have am a lead researcher at the Game Changer Chicago game lab where professional game designers and health professional collaborate with youth to design research-based health games. With the oversight of the principal investigator, I oversaw the theoretical design of the intervention and led the execution of the research. Among my scientific interests are innovative health education interventions for youth, adolescent sexual health, and game based models for health promotion.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.