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

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 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

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

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