Online Game Aims to Prevent Sexual Assault

By , 19, Contributor
June 23, 2015

Online Game Aims to Prevent Sexual Assault

Students in Carnegie Mellon’s “Morality Play: Laboratory for Interactive Media and Values” class created Decisions That Matter, an online interactive game that focuses on sexual harassment, sexual assault and the actions bystanders take when faced with sexual harassment and situations where sexual assault could occur. The game features a cast of diverse characters set in realistic situations with realistic reactions. Unlike most educational tools about bystander intervention, Decisions That Matter is a choose-your-own-adventure-style game where each decision that a player makes has an impact on the outcome of a particular situation.

Although the game is aimed mainly at college students, the scenarios that Decisions That Matter features aren’t just limited to college students’ experiences. The opening scene where the player is invited to eat a meal with friends and on the way a friend is catcalled is something we can all relate to. A timer starts when a decision needs to be made, so the player needs to react fast, much like real life.

When I played the game, the situations that unfolded felt familiar, and I recognized people that I know in a lot of the characters’ responses. In the game, there wasn’t always a clear “right” or “wrong choice when a decision needed to be made. I liked how the interventions were nuanced and true to real life, instead of stiff, awkward-sounding statements. I also enjoyed how the game differs based on the different decisions a player makes. At the end of the game, there are videos, where the animated characters come to life and talk about their experiences, reminding the player that these situations are real and do happen. Play the game and let us know what you think!


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