Thank you for your interest in learning more about the Gaming Against Violence: Unplugged panel discussion from PAX Unplugged 2021. Below you'll find the exciting news about this year's winning game! Also you can read more information about the Panelists, the Finalist games featured in the discussion, the UNPLUGGED game design challenge, as well as info about select winning games from our previous game design challenges.
Speed Dating Challenge
Congratulations to The Big Build Up!
We are pleased to announce that The Big Build Up is the winning game from the 2021 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge: UNPLUGGED!
The Big Build Up was created by Lien Tran and Lynn Baus.
Thank you to all of this year's registrants and congratulations to all of the Finalists!
We will be sharing the critiques and commentary from this year's Judges with all Finalists. We will then coordinate with the game designers to integrate any needed changes before sharing the finished games with the public.
About the Life.Love. Game Design Challenge
The Life.Love. Game Design Challenge is an annual competition presented by Jennifer Ann's Group and Life Love Publishing. The purpose of the game design challenge is to produce & publish prosocial games that will engage, educate, and empower young people about issues important to them. The topics that are addressed align with risk and protective factors from the Social-Ecological Model, a framework used by different organizations including the CDC and UNICEF, for purposes of understanding and preventing future violence. The levels of the Social-Ecologial Model overlap and interact with one another, illustrating some of the complex ways the associated factors can impact individuals, relationships, and societies.
Since 2008 the Life.Love. Game Design Challenge has addressed a variety of topics that directly impact adolescents. This innnovative use of games is intended to assist adolescents to better understand and avoid violence, especially in dating relationships. The topics that have been covered by the annual contest in the past include bystander awareness, consent, cultural influences, gaslighting, healthy relationships, and teen dating violence.
About Power and Control
The topic for the 14th Annual Life.Love. Game Design Challenge was Power and Control. Much of the unhealthy behavior in a dating relationship (or unhealthy relationships in general) involves power and control. For example, when abusers threaten or intimidate their partners it is generally in order to control their partner's actions -- they are attempting to have power over their partner. Although physical and sexual violence are generally understood as being abusive, less understood is that abuse can also be psychological or emotional. By recognizing that abusing one's power in order to exert control over another is an act of violence, people will better understand what constitutes abuse. And by better understanding these power and control dynamics people will be better able to prevent or otherwise avoid abusive relationships. We believe that teaching these lessons from an early age will better help young people recognize abuse, avoid abusers, and be less likely to engage in abusive behaviors themselves.
Previous Life.Love. Game Design Challenges have focused exclusively on the use of video games but for 2021 the focus was instead on non-digital games, such as card games, board games, or tabletop games. The UNPLUGGED Game Design Challenge website provides more information about the 2021 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge.
Please note: all of these games are about sensitive and potentially upsetting topics. Although none of these games include any on-screen depictions of violence, the themes and topics are nonetheless about issues that can be upsetting to anybody, especially to those who have previously experienced trauma. We strive to follow a trauma-informed approach when preparing these games for publishing and we also use ESRB or other rating services to provide further guidance when available. All games are reviewed by psychologists, therapists, and other professionals working in the field of intimate partner violence ("domestic violence").
Culture Overlord is a short game that explores cultural influences while offering important information to encourage media literacy. It was developed by Lucas Vially in France and published by Life Love Publishing in 2021. 'Culture Overlord' includes two modes: "Discovery Mode"(entertainment) and "EDU Mode" (educational). The Culture Overlord website includes helpful information about media literacy and healthy dating relationships. 'Culture Overlord' is a winning game from the 2020 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and was also a 2021 James Paul Gee Learning Games Award Finalist. The game is available for Android, Linux, MAC, and Windows.
Sea of Roses
Sea of Roses is a beautiful game with hand drawn art about cultural influences. It was developed by Crescent Tea Studios in Portugal and published by Life Love Publishing in 2021. The Sea of Roses website includes more information about the game. Sea of Roses can be downloaded from Steam and the Sea of Roses teaser video is on YouTube. 'Sea of Roses' is a winning game from the 2020 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and was also a 2021 James Paul Gee Learning Games Award Finalist and a Finalist for National Game of the Year (Portugal) at Moshbit Awards 2021.
Lamplight Hollow is a short game about gaslighting. It was developed by Luciano Sgarbi in England and published by Life Love Publishing in 2020. Lamplight Hollow is a winning game from the 2019 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and the 2020 Jungle Jam Dreamhack Anaheim. A still-in-progress version of Lamplight Hollow in Spanish is nearly 75% complete and available for testing at GameJolt. Thank you to all who have helped translate and test the Spanish version of this "quirky", "beautiful", "amazing" game that "hit closer to home than I expected".
Rispek Danis is a culturally appropriate game about consent and healthy relationships designed for young people in Vanuatu. It was developed by Jared Sain and Jennifer Ann's Group in collaboration with World Vision Vanuatu. 'Rispek Danis' is a 2019 Games for Change Awards Nominee in the category of Most Significant Impact. The Vanuatu RISPEK program reached more than 3,920 people across Vanuatu. 'Rispek Danis' is based on How to Blorrble-Blobble, an award winning game about consent from the 2017 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge.
ADRIFT is a game about consent that is appropriate for all ages. 'ADRIFT' was developed by Quinn Crossley and Andrew Connell and published by Life Love Publishing. A free Parent Guide for ADRIFT is available to download and print at home or school. From May through October 2019 a life-size version of ADRIFT was featured in the 'Hedonism' exhibition at MOD. Museum at University of South Australia allowing museum visitors to interact with the game in "real life" while learning about consent. 'ADRIFT' is a winning game from the 2017 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge.
Stuck in a Dark Place
Stuck in a Dark Place is a game about consent that is only appropriate for mature audiences. 'Stuck in a Dark Place' was created by Another Kind in Belgium and published by Life Love Publishing. The game includes a Lesson Mode for educational use so that individual chapters can be selected for classroom discussion. The game also includes a Content Warning setting in the game options menu to bypass some of the more potentially troubling content.
HONEYMOON is a game about the "honeymoon phase" of a first dating relationship. It is a video game for young people about healthy dating relationships and was developed by Sandra Lara Castillo in England and published by Life Love Publishing in 2016. HONEYMOON is a winning game from the 2016 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge. 'HONEYMOON' also has lesson plans for classroom use that have been pilot-tested at the El Paso Independent School District. The lesson plans and a Spanish version of HONEYMOON will be added to the HONEYMOON website soon. Sign up for our prosocial game newsletter to be notified about HONEYMOON and the latest news about our other games.
Grace's Diary is a game about bystander awareness and teen dating violence. It was developed by GP Touch in Thailand and published by Life Love Publishing. Although developed for Flash, a new version is now available to download for Windows. Its pencil-shaded art, meaningful characters, and multiple endings have resulted in rave reviews for Grace's Diary. 'Grace's Diary' is a winning game from the 2010 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and a Community Pillar Grant Recipient from Penny Arcade.
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Will you be at PAX Unplugged?
JAG is excited to share that we will have a panel discussing our use of games for violence prevention. This year's UNPLUGGED challenge about Power & Control will be our primary focus.
2021 Game Design Challenge
Our 14th annual game design challenge about Power & Control is underway! Winner to be announced soon.
Grace's Diary Update
The beautifully bittersweet video game Grace's Diary from 2010 has been updated: Grace's Diary v1.2 available now.
HONEYMOON: a prosocial game available for schools teaching about healthy dating relationships.