Consent Game Posts

Serious Video Games Helping to Tackle Serious Issues

Grace’s Diary is an example of how serious video games are effective at addressing serious issues.

Video games have been found effective at raising awareness and promoting violence prevention.


Grace’s Diary has clearly impacted many adolescents who have played it.

“When Grace’s mother tells her to get back in the car… and to not bother telling Natalie’s mother, I was absolutely appalled.”

By the end I got to really despise Natalie’s boyfriend.”

“...this actually happens, and makes it so much more terrible…”


A broken phone is just one reminder of abusive behavior in Grace’s Diary.

These are just some of the comments from players of a game called Grace’s Diary. Unlike many of the more mainstream games, Grace’s Diary doesn’t feature mining, materials, shooting, or random dance moves. Instead, Grace’s Diary follows the protagonist, Grace, as she reflects on and tries to speak with her friend Natalie about Natalie’s relationship with her abusive boyfriend, Ken.


Real quotes from players:

“This game will probably be so helpful for me and my friends later on. I just hope that won’t happen to any of us.”

“…we know or will know a Natalie at some point in our lives, or are/will become a Natalie ourselves.”

“…getting the message out… that violent and controlling relationships are not normal or acceptable is fundamentally important.”


Grace sharing the National Dating Abuse Helpline number with her friend Natalie.

An initiative of the non-profit Jennifer Ann’s Group, Grace’s Diary is one of their many games which are targeted at informing and educating players around issues related to abusive dating behavior. Although most of the group’s serious video games address teen dating violence (TDV), they also cover related subjects like consent, healthy relationships, and the impact of peer pressure and social media.

While Natalie’s story is revealed through a series of observations, dialogue choices and point-and-click-puzzles, the charity is not limited to any one set approach and the games they publish tackle the issues from a variety of genres including dating-sims, lo-fi RPGs, persuasive art, and escape-the-room simulators. Important exceptions however are first-person-shooter and fighting games, which run counter to the non-violent conversation Jennifer Ann’s Group is trying to promote. 

Grace writes memos in her diary throughout the game.

With a number of recent studies highlighting the pressing concern of TDV, as well as the difficulties educational institutions have had in successfully addressing it, TDV video games are seen by the group as an effective tool to help tackle the shortfall.

“Abusive dating behaviour is a nuanced and sensitive subject,” Drew Crecente, founder and executive director of Jennifer Ann’s Group explains. “What the research has shown is that traditional learning methods alone aren’t sufficient to address it. Adolescents often don’t feel comfortable discussing dating – especially dating abuse – with their parents, let alone with teachers; if we can’t get the conversation started then raising awareness and promoting prevention is incredibly difficult.”

Lack of Awareness is a Critical Problem

Lack of awareness around the problem is a key issue, with one parental survey finding that 81% of participants either didn’t believe TDV was an issue, or admitting that they didn’t know it was an issue (Women’s Health, 2004). This is despite another study concluding that over 40% of U.S. students have been in an abusive relationship by the time they graduate from college, with nearly 1.5 million high school students physically abused by a dating partner every year (Forke, et al., 2008).

The challenges with tackling abusive dating behaviours unfortunately don’t stop there. Another study found that among teens who had been in an abusive relationship, only 32% confided in a parent. Of those that confided, 78% then went on to stay in the relationship despite the advice of their parent (Liz Claiborne Inc., 2009).

If you play Grace’s Diary, be aware that there are three possible endings.

For Educators

As for addressing the issue in a traditional educational setting, fewer than half of state schools in the U.S. are either required or encouraged to include TDV in their curriculum. In addition, even in those states where legislation has been passed requiring the development of safety plans, enforcement of protective orders, and education of students, a lack of funding has proved an issue for some school districts with implementation of these measures hindered as a result.

Even in school systems which have been able to implement TDV programs the results have been disappointing, with a recent review concluding that they were not affecting “to a significant extent” TDV perpetration and victimisation behaviours (De La Rue, et al. 2016).

This is where video games come in. By championing games that explore and dissect abusive dating behaviours, and making them free and readily available, Jennifer Ann’s Group works to draw on some of the powerful features of gaming to turn them to their advantage.


“Gaming plays a significant role in many teenagers’ lives,” says Drew, “and we’ve found that by tapping into that we can effectively help guide and nurture prosocial behaviour. Video games are engaging, they enable players to explore and progress at their own pace, and they present scenarios in a way that is contextually interesting and highly relatable. These are qualities that any educational resource should aspire to and is an objective we thought worth pursuing. The research around TDV video games validates this stance and by providing these as free resources for schools and classrooms we can help encourage TDV programs where there previously weren’t any, as well as strengthen those that already exist.”


Studies investigating the results of TDV video games on educational development have confirmed that compared to control groups TDV game players show a significant improvement in attitude relating to relationship abuse and gender norms, with one study concluding that TDV players were “less accepting of angry behaviours” in relationships compared to control players (Jacobs, 2017).

For Parents Too

The benefits of TDV video games aren’t just limited to the classroom either. Part of the concept that Jennifer Ann’s Group promotes is the ability to nurture and encourage conversations in the home as well.

Grace’s Diary challenges game players to “make the call” in this award winning game

“As a parent it can be very awkward trying to start conversations about abusive dating behaviour; even harder than some of the other more well-known ‘difficult talks’ like alcohol, drugs, and sex,” says Drew. “To have that kind of conversation, and at the young ages that we’re now finding it’s required, it can be tough for a parent to even know where to begin.

“With TDV games, parents can first play through a game themselves, get their own education around the subject, then introduce their child to the same game. The dynamic of the conversation subsequently changes. For the child, it doesn’t feel like it’s a talk focused on them and their behavior but instead a talk about the characters and actions in the game; that change in perspective removes a lot of the pressure. This makes it easier for parents and their kids to focus on the problematic issues we are addressing through these games and from there we can encourage a real, constructive dialogue.”


Even if parents aren’t yet ready to engage, if a child is going through their own personal experience of TDV or abuse the games are still beneficial. By demonstrating that what they’re facing is not an isolated issue affecting them and them alone, and that the behaviour is neither healthy nor acceptable, it can help them to understand that they are not powerless in the face of it.

And for Teens

For teenagers who have not experienced TDV or other abusive dating behaviours (equal opportunity problems which affect adolescents regardless of gender, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, or sexuality) it also helps reduce the chance they ever will.

A poster in Grace’s Diary includes ten warning signs of an abusive relationship

* If you or anyone you know is a victim of abusive dating behaviour, at any time, it is urged you seek help at the earliest opportunity. In the U.S., those needing assistance can contact the National Dating Violence Helpline at 1-866-331-9474. February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Consent Game ADRIFT Teaches Consent on itchio

ADRIFT is a sci-fi adventure about consent for kids of all ages.

Consent game ADRIFT makes learning consent easy.

ADRIFT is a sci-fi adventure about consent that engages and entertains kids of all ages. The ADRIFT lessons are presented in an easy-to-understand way. People from all age groups can learn about consent through ADRIFT. ADRIFT is rated for ages 4+ on the App Store. This short, but educational, game is great for a class project about consent.

This award winning consent game is even appropriate for elementary school children because ADRIFT never talks about sex! Let’s talk about some ways ADRIFT makes learning about consent easy in your browser or on iOS devices.

Logo for the consent game ADRIFT
ADRIFT is a prosocial consent game

Listening to Your Partner

An important lesson taught in ADRIFT is the value of listening and communicating with your partner. Many times in this consent game the in-game computer will let the player know what actions to take. And if you want to escape the abandoned space station you will need to have permission for your actions!

Part of the ADRIFT experience is to learn about trust.

As the player, it is up to you whether you listen to your computer “partner” or not. As in real-life, if you decide to listen to your partner then you might have a happier outcome. If you don’t listen to your partner then the ending is not going to be as happy.

Part of the ADRIFT experience is to trust the computer to correctly show you how to proceed without causing harm. For example, if you ignore the computer’s instructions and power the wrong part of the ship then the computer will open the door – but will also experience power surges. These power surges cause the computer “pain.” This harms the computer and also makes it harder for the player to proceed. The computer loses the ability to make the last part of your escape easier by lighting the player’s path through a dark room.

Consent also Applies to Friendships

In the real world you are unlikely to be trapped in a space station with a talking computer! Instead though, you might be in a project with a friend who has needs that are different from yours. By learning to understand each other’s needs and to respect each other’s boundaries children will be better prepared for the future. They will learn how to handle some of the trials and temptations that often appear in adolescence. They will build skills to help deal with problems like peer pressure, romantic relationships, and other common situations.

ADRIFT is not just for young kids, it is also a great way to easily and gradually introduce older students to the topic of consent.

It is important to listen to your partner — this applies to friendships also, not just romantic relationships. ADRIFT helps teach children to respect their peers. While children are learning to respect others they are also learning how to effectively communicate their own needs to others.

ADRIFT is not just for young kids, it is also a great way to easily and gradually introduce older students to the topic of consent. By focusing on consent without any discussions of sex, students will be building a foundation for future learning. They will gradually and organically work their way up to learning about more complex aspects of abusive relationships in the future.

Can you successfully navigate the puzzles in ADRIFT?

Applying the Consent Game ADRIFT to Real Life

This clever consent game is easily accessible to parents who want to start teaching their child about consent. ADRIFT is a free download in the iOS App Store making it very easy for anyone who wants to try ADRIFT out. The game doesn’t take much space either, making it perfect to fit on iOS devices with less storage space.

ADRIFT can also be played in your browser on itchio. This makes it easy for a parent to test play the game before having their child download ADRIFT at the App Store.

We do recommend that your child have basic reading skills to really enjoy the game as the current version of this story does not have voice-overs, it is text-based. According to the game’s publisher future versions of ADRIFT will offer voice-over acting.

New: Parent Guide for Teaching Consent with ADRIFT

ADRIFT also offers a guide for parents who want to teach their children about consent. The parent guide for ADRIFT provides easy to follow tips and suggestions. In addition to providing helpful ways to use this prosocial game with their child, it also tells parents how the lessons in ADRIFT align with the state standards’ learning goals. The ADRIFT parent guide is designed to download and print at home or work.

Parent Guide for the consent game ADRIFT

We think ADRIFT is the easiest way to teach consent to children we have ever seen! This award winning video game can be played online in your browser at jag.itch.io/adrift. ADRIFT can also be downloaded on the App Store at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/adrift/id1426208859.

About ADRIFT

ADRIFT was developed by Quinn Crossley and Andrew Connell. It is an award-winning consent video game from the Gaming Against Violence program. ADRIFT was produced by Jennifer Ann’s Group and is published by Life Love Publishing. ADRIFT is rated for ages 4+ on the App Store.

More information about ADRIFT and its origins is available at jag.itch.io/adrift.

ADRIFT on iOS Makes Learning About Trust and Consent Easy

ADRIFT: a game about consent, is a sci-fi adventure that is both engaging and entertaining for kids of all ages. The lessons in the game are presented in a way that people from almost any age group can learn the importance of consent. This short, but educational, game is great for a class project about consent beginning with elementary school children without having to directly speak to them about sex. Let’s talk about the ways ADRIFT makes learning about consent easy for all ages on IOS devices.

Listening To Your Partner

One of the most important lessons that are brought up in ADRIFT is the importance of listening and communicating with your partner about what you are both feeling. Many times in this game the in-game computer that the player is interacting with will let you know what actions you can take in order to escape the failing space station; it’s up to you whether you listen or not. If you decide to listen to your partner then you will end up with the good ending but if you don’t choose to listen to your partner the ending will be bad and will leave the main character filled with guilt.

If you decide to listen to your partner then you will end up with the good ending but if you don’t . . .

Part of this experience is trusting the computer “character” to correctly show you how to proceed in the game without doing anything that would harm them. For example, if you ignore the computer’s instructions and power the wrong part of the ship then the computer will open the door – but will also experience a great deal of “pain.” This also lessens the computer’s ability to make the last part of your escape easy by providing a lighted path through a dark room. This reminds the player that consent is not limited to romantic relationships but applies to friendships as well. ADRIFT helps teach children to respect their peers at a fundamental level and to use these skills to effectively communicate their own needs to others.

. . . consent is not limited to romantic relationships but applies to friendships as well . . .

The game is also easily accessible to parents of children who want to start teaching their child about consent. The game is a free download in the iOS App Store making it very easy for anyone who wants to try ADRIFT out. The game also doesn’t take up a ton of space making it perfect to fit on iOS devices with smaller storage space. We do recommend that your child have a decent amount of basic reading skills to really enjoy the game as the story is text-based instead of being voiced-over.

ADRIFT in Real Life

Students: although in the real world you’re likely not going to get trapped in a space station with a talking computer (at least not yet!) but you might be in a project with a friend who has certain needs that are different from yours. By learning to understand each other’s needs and to respect each other’s boundaries students will be better prepared to handle the trials and temptations they might confront in adolescence through peer pressure, romantic relationships, and other situations impacting consent.

Educators: ADRIFT is also a great way to easily introduce an older classroom to the topic of consent without beginning with some of the more serious aspects of consent. This affords educators the opportunity to gradually and organically work with their students on the fundamental issues about consent before moving onto some of its more serious applications like dating abuse. Educators will also appreciate that the game’s publisher, nonprofit charity Jennifer Ann’s Group, has made this game 100% free to provide a free resource to teachers in order to encourage classroom use of this consent game.

Parents: as public discourse about consent becomes more mainstream parents are becoming increasingly aware of the need to talk with their children about consent from an early age. ADRIFT offers a perfect way to begin that first conversation with their child because of the child-friendly treatment of consent in this clever innovative game. ADRIFT is rated as appropriate for players ages 4+.

Developed by: Quinn Crossley and Andrew Connell
Produced by: Jennifer Ann's Group
Price: Free
Language: English
Age Rating: Rated 4+

More information about ADRIFT
ADRIFT: a game about consent, on the iTunes Store
Play ADRIFT: a game about consent, in your browser
Watch a video trailer about ADRIFT: a game about consent

A video game about consent: Crossing Boundaries

Crossing Boundaries is a travel game for teenagers

When you’re trying to properly teach consent it becomes a little difficult to get the point across without using some form of media to help you. The games produced by Jennifer Ann’s Group are great for forming an easy, and open, source of communication about consent for kids and young adults. Today we will be looking at Crossing Boundaries, a game for teenagers that can also be quite resourceful for college-age students. The game takes you through quite a few situations in which you learn about different approaches to many situations and the various ways that consent is important.

Crossing Boundaries combines a travel game with important scenarios about consent.

Travelling the World

Crossing Boundaries is all about three friends who recently got out of school. To celebrate this they have saved up some money and decided to travel the world together. The two characters Eva and Alice bring along their friend Joe who doesn’t always think his decisions through. Thanks to Joe, and missing their plane early on, the friends get into quite a bit of trouble on their adventure across the world. The game also incorporates a cute mini-game with some fun mechanics to drive home the themes of consent even more throughout the game.

“Snog a Frog” is the game-within-a-game you will play along with the game’s characters

Even if it’s something like trying to force someone to try a new food, “no means no!”

My very favorite thing about Crossing Boundaries is that it’s about more than just sexual consent. It delves into the fact that every person has their own will and no one has a right to try and go against it. One of the main driving points that popped up in the game is that you can’t make choices for another person’s body. For example, Joe decides on his own to sign his friends up for a perfume testing project that could potentially harm them, because “there weren’t many spots left.” As the game clearly shows, the issue of consent extends beyond the realm of dating and sex to include anything that affects your personal space, will, or body.

The game also had choices you could make for each situation that popped up. There were multiple choices to each situation and it’s up to you to choose how you react. It presented the fact that every circumstance has multiple paths you can follow, with multiple positive reactions to choose from. It also showed that standing up to someone may not always be as well received as you hope.

Humans are complicated in their emotions and when they are put into an uncomfortable situation they may not be thinking straight or know how to properly react to someone that’s trying to pressure them. The game shows Joe’s growth and through his growth shows how positive actions can affect those around you, helping them become better people.

You Can’t Script a Real Situation

I really think that Crossing Boundaries helps prove the point that there’s not always one way to react to a situation. Each problem you encounter in life is unique and you will have to react in a way you feel comfortable with. The game also makes a point that just because someone doesn’t say no or run away, that isn’t ground for assuming they’re okay with a situation. All in all, everyone has a right to decide what they feel comfortable with doing in their life. Even if it’s something like trying to force someone to try a new food, “no means no!”

Play Crossing Boundaries

Developed by: Testudo Games
Produced by: Jennifer Ann's Group
Price: Free
Language: English
Age Rating: Rated 12+

More information about Stuck in a Dark Place
Get Crossing Boundaries on the iTunes Store
Crossing Boundaries available at Amazon
Play Crossing Boundaries in your browser
Watch a video trailer about Crossing Boundaries

Stuck in a Dark Place: a Serious Game About Consent

Stuck in a Dark Place is a serious game about consent that covers a wide range of scenarios examining the importance of consent.

I truly feel like games can be a great educational tool that can transcend many boundaries. Often times, games can present a situation much better than verbal storytelling can. With the game “Stuck in a Dark Place”, you can truly get into the scenes shown making it a great tool for consent education. The game is great for high schoolers or talks about sexual consent at work or on college campuses. The game does contain some disturbing situations though, and you should check with the group you are presenting it to before playing the game in class or having them do so.

Stuck in a Dark Place allows players to customize their character – a helpful reminder that consent affects everybody. Players can also use the “content warning” filter to skip some of the more disturbing descriptions and depictions of sexual assault.

Getting Started With Stuck in a Dark Place

The game has a rather unusual start. You design a character by picking their skin and hair color and then learn that you’re in jail. It is quickly explained that you were a teacher who had a relationship with a student, your name is Chloe and you feel wrongly imprisoned. Chloe claims that it’s wrong to be in jail when the student consented to their relationship but so many men went free after harassing her. Her cellmate, Sonia decides to help her through her emotionally scarring memories by having her write about them.

This screenshot from Stuck in a Dark Place shows a subway rider who is being “groped” – just one depiction of nonconsensual sexual activity covered by this serious game.

The game consists of 8 chapters all covering different, but very real, situations where Chloe felt violated. As the story goes along, the situations that Chloe recall get more disturbing and paint a picture of what led her to eventually be imprisoned. The game will have you play two mini-games that help you etch out the words Chloe is using to convey her letters to the abusers. You will have to search for the right words in a puzzle or unscramble them to fill in the missing blanks. The game has a safe setting that you can select to skip some of the more graphic content, in case you feel uncomfortable with some of the serious situations shown.

Stuck in a Dark Place reminds players that “a stolen kiss isn’t romantic — it’s assault”

The game also features a lesson mode. This mode is great for using if you’re teaching a class about sexual abuse and consent. The mode will let you choose from one of the eight chapters and play through it without having to play the rest of the game. In lesson mode it still has the option to block out some of the more sensitive content in case your class is uncomfortable with the scenes. Each chapter has a different scenario that offers a great point for discussion on where a line should be drawn and encourages women (and men!) to speak up against abuse.

Players of Stuck in a Dark Place will solve several puzzles to proceed through its story.

Reoccurring Themes (Sensitive Material Warning)

While sexual abuse is very hard for many women and men to talk about, it’s a talk that has to happen to make progress. I was even able to relate to a few situations in the game personally.

Respecting consent is just as important in growing trust between people as is being there for them. Without listening to someone’s personal wishes and respecting their feelings, we are setting ourselves up to lose a potential partner or friend.

One of the chapters goes over a moment where Chloe had a boy walk up and kiss her. The boy had been following her around for a bit in school. Her friends, of course, blew it off because he was “cute.” I think this situation is one many young women can relate to and happens more often than people realize in school environments.  A lot of our media makes it seem romantic to be spontaneous but the game does a great job at pointing out how a kiss without consent was not acceptable to Chloe when it happened to her.

The media makes it seem romantic to be spontaneous but the game does a great job pointing out how a kiss without consent is not acceptable in real life.

Stuck in a Dark Place also goes over workplace harassment. While the situation shown with Chloe is an extreme case of workplace harassment, it happens every day to many men and women. Oftentimes, a job can be the difference between having food for the week or your family going hungry. Many people in today’s economy have a huge fear of losing their job due to the overwhelming number of applicants in the job market. Thanks to that, abuse of power has become more common in the workplace. Abusive management will use this leverage to get away with many acts that are clearly inappropriate (and sometimes illegal). Often times, as shown with Chloe being an intern, they will target those with the greatest need for the job or are inexperienced.

Sonia provides guidance to Chloe – and players – about consent throughout the game.

The last two situations I want to cover both dealt with Chloe being raped. The first scenario shows Chloe being taken advantage of while she was too drunk to provide consent. The boy she had started dating saw that she couldn’t speak up and took her into the bushes to have sex. Later in her life Chloe has an abusive husband who incorrectly claims marriage provides eternal consent. Neither of these scenarios are consensual but in both situations Chloe falls into a victim-blaming mindset. Victim blaming is very common in these situations with many abuse victims feeling they should not speak up or should stay with the partner who has sexually assaulted them. Although these scenarios are difficult to stomach it’s important that people recognize that these nonconsensual acts are unfortunately common.

Getting Into a Better Place

The game does explain that what Chloe did with her student was wrong as well. It also shows that abuse by the men in her life eventually led her to take on an adolescent as a partner continuing the chain of broken consent.

More than anything though, the game showed Chloe’s path to hope for a better future. It constantly pushed the point that while it’s hard to fight back with these situations, there are many laws in place that we can use to protect us against abusers. The game wants you to know that you always have a right to push back against sexual assault and that while something as simple as a kiss may not be a big deal to others, what’s really important is how the situation makes you feel. Your body is your own don’t let anyone take advantage of it or make you feel like should just go with the flow. There is always help out there waiting for you.

You are not alone.

Stuck in a Dark Place covers a wide variety of scenarios about consent but is not appropriate for all ages.

Play Stuck in a Dark Place, a serious game about consent

Developed by: Another Kind
Produced by: Jennifer Ann's Group
Price: Free
Language: English
Age Rating: Teen

More information about Stuck in a Dark Place
Get Stuck in a Dark Place on the iTunes Store
Get Stuck in a Dark Place on Google Play
Stuck in a Dark Place available at Amazon
Play Stuck in a Dark Place in your browser
Watch a video trailer about Stuck in a Dark Place

Rispek Danis (the Respect Dance) is a Game About Consent

Rispek Danis presents healthy relationship habits to the Bislama speaking community through a culturally relevant video game.

Rispek Danis is a game made by Jennifer Ann’s Group in collaboration with World Vision Vanuatu. This game takes a culturally relatable approach to presenting healthy relationship habits to the Bislama speaking community (Bislama is the primary language of Vanuatu).

The game is simple to use and can run on older smartphones thanks to its limited graphical demands. Although Rispek Danis is not in English even non-native speakers can understand the simple steps this game lays out. The game is available for free through the Google Play store and will only take up around 30mbs of space to fully install on your tablet or smart device.

Rispek Danis was developed collaboratively between World Vision Vanuatu and Jennifer Ann’s Group to produce a culturally relevant video game intended to teach young people about the meaning and importance of consent.

Gameplay

Rispek Danis is a simple-to-play game consisting of small puzzles challenging players to select the proper order of steps. To win the game you have to correctly cards in the proper order in which you should approach your partner and if you choose wrong then you will have to start the process over again. If you choose right though you can move on to the next level.

The game is the perfect length to inject into a class covering the concepts of healthy dating relationships.

The game is very simple and easy to understand making it a wonderful teaching tool for young people. Although the game’s intention is to teach young people about consent through an evolving relationship, the game keeps away from anything more physical than kissing giving it its all-ages feel. In fact, the game is the perfect length to inject into a class covering the concepts of healthy dating relationships.

If you play your cards right you might find yourself in a healthy relationship!

By learning to identify and respect boundaries we can start to build a world with healthier relationships.

To play the game you simply have to choose an avatar to represent you. After you have chosen your avatar the game will prompt you to click the look around button. Once this button is clicked you will be given a choice of partners to choose from, simply click the one you like to start the game. The game will set you up with a scenario in which you must properly approach your partner. At the bottom of the screen will be different actions for you to choose from. Simply click the action that best fits your stage of asking your partner to dance with you in order to reach Level Two.

Rispek Danis prompts the player to select their character’s gender as well as the gender of their crush — a helpful reminder that consent matters in all relationships regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

As the game goes on you will have more choices to choose from. Rispek Danis especially likes to push the concept of asking your partner for permission. If you don’t ask your partner for permission before performing an action then you fail the scenario. This really drives home the point that everyone is an individual with their own thoughts and feelings. You should never assume someone wants to do something based on how you feel, always check with your partner before doing any action that may involve them. The game also points out that if a partner is intoxicated they cannot give consent!

The final scene is on the beach — can you make it that far?

Humans are complicated in their emotions and when they are put into an uncomfortable situation they may not be thinking straight or know how to properly react to someone that’s trying to pressure them. The game shows Joe’s growth and through his growth shows how positive actions can affect those around you, helping them become better people.

Rispek Danis spans four scenes, all of which are culturally relevant to life on Vanuatu!

Rispek Danis in Practice

The game is a short play that is easy to grasp. By following the lessons taught in the game we can teach young people to respect each other’s wishes at all times. Even if you have previously kissed your partner, you should never assume that they want physical affection just because you do.

By learning to identify and respect boundaries we can start to build a world with healthier relationships.

Play Rispek Danis (the Respect Dance)

Developed by: Jared Sain
Produced by: Jennifer Ann's Group and World Vision Vanuatu
Price: Free
Language: Bislama
Age Rating: E for Everyone (ESRB)

More information about Rispek Danis
Rispek Danis available at Google Play
Play Rispek Danis in your browser
Read more about Rispek Danis

A Dance Game about Consent: “How to Blorrble-Blobble”

How to Blorrble-Blobble is a fun dance game that teaches young people about consent using dance as a metaphor!

Talking about sexual consent with youth can be a sticky topic for many parents because many teenagers or young adults are a bit averse to having any conversation involving sex with their parents! In most cases, teens will actually end up talking to their peers about sex more than they will with any adult. Through interactive games you are encouraging teens to learn about consent in private and at their own pace with the end result that they aren’t trying to awkwardly squirm their way out of a conversation with you!

The game uses dance, instead of sex, to teach about consent in a manner that is appropriate for all ages.

How to Blorrble-Blobble is the perfect game for late elementary and middle school age kids. This game forgoes the more mature elements of abusive relationships while still hitting the nail on the head through an entertaining and informative message.

Consent Taught as a Dance Lesson

How to Blorrble Blobble is an easy to load browser game that just about any computer out there can run. The controls are simple and it’s pretty hard to get them confused. The game plays out as a funky disco themed dance lesson with a strange name. The announcer or teacher for the game comes in because he wants to teach you the newest dance craze, the “Blorrble Blobble.” This perfectly parodies all the hot dance crazes young adults are getting into and opens up a familiar line of communication for the player.

The game goes on by giving the player a short tutorial of clicking a card to perform an action. Afterwards, the announcer will teach the player a pattern to click the cards in. They simply have to remember how to properly ask someone to dance. The program teaches them to always greet and ask permission before trying to dance with a partner. The game teaches you a step of the dance and then asks you to repeat the steps in order, starting from finding a partner on the dance floor and introducing yourself.

The game throws in a few curve balls by having the other dancers say no. At this point, the game explains that it is best to leave and that sometimes someone who is already dancing with you can still change their mind. The game even has a test to see if the player will dance with their partner after they have seen they are intoxicated. At the end of it all, the player will have to go through the whole dance while watching out for signs that the other dancers might be changing their mind about the situation.

Real World Usage of this Consent Game

The game teaches about consent in a very simple and easy to understand way with this overarching theme: Don’t assume someone wants to have sex with you! How to Blorrble-Blobble also makes the important point that even though someone is confident at the beginning stages of intimacy, they may change their mind as things progress to more serious deeds.

The games’ host (Orca!) even explains the fact that intoxicated dancers aren’t able to fully give consent and are just best left alone. Consent is very easy to learn and if the actions in this game are followed and understood you will have a perfect example of how to treat your next partner — or the one you are currently with — during times of intimacy.

Play How to Blorrble-Blobble

Developed by: Jared Sain
Produced by: Jennifer Ann's Group
Price: Free
Language: English
Age Rating: Appropriate for all ages

More information about Rispek Danis
Play How to Blorrble-Blobble in your browser
Helpful information about consent

How to Blorrble Blobble

How to Blorrble-Blobble illustrates how games can be more than mere entertainment as this fun game about learning to dance teaches young people about consent at the same time.

Games are more than mere entertainment

A lot of games try to tell a story using few words. Others, they may tell their story using way too many.

How to Blorrble Blobble is a free game produced by the nonprofit group Jennifer Ann’s Group

With the former, it is not the easiest thing to properly communicate what you want people to take from it. You run the risk of your audience not seeing the point, or worse, getting the wrong point altogether. The former is certainly not good, but the latter can create the wrong (or even perhaps negative) interpretation of your work.

How to Blorbble Blobble handles this kind of game pretty well.

Video games can make you feel a certain way with wordless prowess, making you do things that may make you uncomfortable.

There are several ways to communicate through an interactive medium. The most common is through text and dialogue, unsurprisingly given that most stories are expressed that way. I personally feel that this is not the best way to do this in video games. It is not a bad way to do it, by any means. Most of my favorite video game stories are expressed through this way, after all. But some of my favorites in turn take great advantage of an interactive medium’s inherent advantages.

Video games can make you feel a certain way with wordless prowess, making you do things that may make you uncomfortable. For example, The Walking Dead games, while dealing with a character/dialogue-driven story, also evokes certain emotions by making players make hard decisions, such as whether to spare someone who had “done you wrong.”

So many options … which will Triangle Boy choose?

How to Blorrble Blobble

How to Blorrble Blobble focuses specifically on putting you into a real-world situation. ‘Blorbble-Blobble,’ or ‘Blorrbling‘ as the narrator/instructor calls it, has you following a strict ruleset when initiating the dance with another partner. You get to play as either Triangle Girl or Triangle Boy, and are walked through the game step by step, with the first step straight up having you seek out a partner with whom to dance.

Triangle Boy meets Disco Girl

Once you find a partner (Disco Girl or Disco Boy) you then are taught various procedures of Blorbbling. The first proper step is to greet them (after all, it is just polite). Once you greet your new Disco friend, you can ask them if they want to dance. Following this, they will either accept it or reject it. If they do reject it, you then have to respect that and back off.

It’s a delicate balancing act between respecting someone’s agency and respecting that someone under the influence can’t properly consent…

If they do decide to dance with you, you then have different protocols to follow. When you obtain consent, you can then give your partner a high five dance. After this, you then can move onto the fist bump – but not before asking if they want to continue dancing though. Consent may be revoked at any time, and this is both normal and okay.

This rule applies also to belly bumping, the final dance step. However, just because someone appears to consent does not necessarily mean that they are able to consent. At times, you may see that your prospective partner does not actually have the wherewithal to give consent. It’s a delicate balancing act between respecting someone’s agency and respecting that someone under the influence can’t properly consent to things.

Bumping bellies in How to Blorrble Blobble

My thoughts on How to Blorrble Blobble

If this seems like this game is trying to convey something other than dancing, you would be correct. It uses cute styles and cute concepts (high fiving is not exactly the most traditional dance move), but in reality, the basic rules of consent being discussed here correspond to sex and romance as much as it relates to dancing. This fact is conveyed to the player near the end of the game by Orca (although I did not feel that it needed much in the way of explanation).

Lessons like this from Orca are helpful – especially for those who’ve never been taught consent!

The player is also reminded about their own consent. When the player’s Triangle dance partner abruptly leaves Orca reminds the player that they can also disengage from Blorrbling whenever they so choose. If there is one thing that I particularly would like to see however would be to have your choice of character to not be based on a gender binary, and to instead name Triangle Girl/Boy and Disco Girl/Boy as “Triangle” and “Disco.”

The game has an interesting and funky art and musical style, evoking a 70s style. Whenever you initiate actions (such as asking for consent or dancing), you get a special little audio jingle to go along with it that makes the experience a little more active and transformative. The gameplay is simple rule-following, with not too much deviation.

I would have liked to been able to do different dance steps out of order, or even skip certain dance steps altogether, much in the same way that a sexual encounter does not require that you necessarily follow the same steps every time, or the same steps in order. The game conveyed this issue somewhat, as at one point you can choose to put belly bumping as the next step instead of fist bumping, but it resulted in the game soft-locking (thankfully it saves your progress up to that point). An expansion on the concepts to explore consent in a greater degree would be much appreciated, but How to Blorrble Blobble is already an interesting means by which to explore consent as-is.

Play How to Blorrble Blobble

Developed by: Jared Sain
Produced by: Jennifer Ann’s Group
Price: Free
Language: English
Age Rating: Appropriate for all ages

More information about How to Blorrble Blobble


For Sexual Assault Awareness Month a Video Game about Consent: ADRIFT

ADRIFT is a free game about consent appropriate for all ages.

Consent is something that comes in many different forms. It can be something as adult as sexual consent or simply respecting someone else’s personal space. No matter what though, when you ask to do something with someone, you should always have their consent. This can be a difficult concept to teach to children and you may not even know how to go about it successfully. This is where the game ADRIFT comes in to assist you when teaching younger children all about the do’s and don’ts of consent!

In ADRIFT the player plays as a space miner exploring an abandoned spaceship.

Playing ADRIFT

ADRIFT is a very simple game that can be easily understood by a child of reading age. The game has you play as an astronaut who is a member of a space salvage crew that encounters a derelict ship in deep space. You are tasked with retrieving the abandoned ship’s valuable artificial intelligence (AI). The game play takes place on the abandoned ship where you are completely alone aside from the AI who offers to guide you through the ship to safety. The only deal is you are going to have to listen to your newfound partner in order for the mission to go smoothly. The game has some puzzle aspects to it but they are completely simple as long as you are careful to read your partner’s instructions. If you try to rush through the game or wander off on your own then things might go badly.

The player must respect consent in order to successfully proceed.

The concept to make it to the end is easy. Just access the ship’s AI through the computer terminals found throughout the ship before every action. By doing this, you will learn the proper steps to take to get through the ship. If you don’t follow the directions properly your screen will blink red. The AI will also become less trusting of you the more you decide you want to do things on your own without checking with it for approval. It is very easy to look over some information, so be sure to have your little ones pay close attention to the AI as each line it says contains important information.

If you want to teach consent well, you can do two playthroughs. The first you can let your kids go through the game as they wish. This will show them that not respecting consent has consequences that might affect their relationships. The game helpfully provides a recap after the game ends that shows where consent was – and was not – followed during the game.

Afterwards, get them to play through again to positively show them the difference it makes when consent is respected. It makes the space miner’s job much easier and at the end they will also see that the AI has a much better attitude towards them.

The end-of-game summary will show you when you failed to properly respect consent

Real World Applications

The information presented in the game can be easily applied to many real world situations. For example, if a child has a friend and they ignore their friend’s wishes by playing tricks on them against their will that friend might eventually distance themselves from the child.

Respecting consent is just as important in growing trust between people as is being there for them. Without listening to someone’s personal wishes and respecting their feelings, we are setting ourselves up to lose a potential partner or friend.

ADRIFT makes a point to show two paths that the player can choose with the ship’s AI. By simply listening to the AI’s wishes and respecting those wishes they forge a lasting friendship while successfully navigating the ship’s interior to escape and win the game.

Play ADRIFT, a game about consent

Developed by: Quinn Crossley and Andrew Connell
Produced by: Jennifer Ann's Group
Price: Free
Language: English
Age Rating: Rated 4+

More information about ADRIFT
Get ADRIFT on the iTunes Store
Play ADRIFT in your browser
Watch a video trailer about ADRIFT

Finalist: Games for Change Awards, ‘Most Significant Impact’

A World Vision Staff member is demonstrating the consent video game Rispek Danis to three youth ni-Vanuatu girls.
World Vision Staff teach group of youth girls the consent game Rispek Danis

Games for Change has announced the finalists for the 2019 Games for Change Awards and a consent game is one of the finalists for Most Significant Impact. Rispek Danis (The Respect Dance) is a game intended to teach young people about the meaning and importance of consent.

Rispek Danis is a culturally appropriate game created for youth in Vanuatu, a country with one of the World’s highest rates of sexual victimization. The game is narrated in Bislama, a primary language of Vanuatu, and all dialogue, locations, and music are representative of ni-Vanuatu youth life.

The player’s character and their partner dancing to the Jam-Jam in Rispek Danis

Read our article about the consent game Rispek Danis.

Congratulations to all of the finalists!

Best Gameplay

The Stillness of the Wind (Coyan Cardenas, Memory of God)
Detroit: Become Human (Quantic Dream)
GRIS (Nomada Studio)
Florence (Mountains)

Most Innovative

Tendar (Tendar Claws)
One Hand Clapping (Bad Dream Games)
Nintendo Labo (Nintendo)
Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt (Ubisoft)

Most Significant Impact

Can’t Wait to Learn Uganda (War Child Holland)
UNICEF Kid Power (Teravision Technology, Teravision Games and 42 Mate)
Rispek Danis (Jennifer Ann’s Group)
My Memory of Us (Juggler Games)