Rispek Danis, or the Respect Dance, is a serious video game created in collaboration between World Vision Vanuatu and Jennifer Ann's Group. It is a culturally appropriate game created for youth in Vanuatu, a country with high rates of sexual violence against women and girls under the age of 15. The game is narrated in Bislama, a primary language of Vanuatu and all dialogue, locations, and music are [. . .]
Read the full article at ACEs Connection
Few things thrill a 16-year-old more than being mistaken for a college student, and that was no exception for Jennifer Ann Crecente. Tagging along with her grandmother, Elizabeth Richeson, PhD, at APA’s 2004 Annual Convention in Honolulu, Crecente glowed when famous psychologists asked her what university she attended and what her major was. “She told them all she wanted to be a psychologist,” Richeson recalls.
Crecente, an honors student and hospital volunteer, never had the chance to realize that dream. In February 2006, her exboyfriend, Justin Crabbe, shot her in the back of the head and left her bleeding in the woods near her home in Austin, Texas. Crecente’s father, Drew, had no idea his daughter was in danger.
“I thought I was a pretty aware parent,” he says. “I thought I knew about the major dangers she faced, and I had talked with her about drugs, about sex, about strangers when she was younger. But I just did not have any clue that one in three teens were being affected by abusive relationships.”
Read the full article about teen dating violence at American Psychological Association's Monitor
The El Paso Independent School District has teamed with Jennifer Ann’s Group to help educate students about the perils of teen dating violence by creating a video to use as a teaching tool in the classroom.
The 20-minute video is presented by psychologist Elizabeth Richeson, and goes into detail about teen dating violence and identifying the potential warning signs. The video also teaches educators how to open the lines of communication with students.
“It’s important to educate yourself and understand what is and isn’t acceptable in a relationship,” Richeson said. “It is important to understand the reality of dating abuse and have a safety plan in place before you ever should need it.”
Read the full article about El Paso ISD's efforts to prevent teen dating violence in collaboration with Jennifer Ann's Group
UniSA’s museum of discovery (MOD) is the setting for HEDONISM, an exhibition about consent featuring a real-world video game based on ADRIFT from Jennifer Ann's Group.
Receiving a compliment from a stranger, relaxing in a phone-free space and skipping forward to the victory end-screen of a video game are the pleasures you can experience in the Reward Booths at MOD’s new Pleasure Arcade 5000. It’s one of six galleries in the Museum of Discovery’s third exhibition, Hedonism.
“Some data shows that young people are spending less on cigarettes, and they’re spending less on alcohol. Apparently there was another survey that came out recently that said they’re having less sex, too,” says MOD director Kristin Alford. “So then we were curious: what does give pleasure if those things are no longer seen as pleasurable for some reason?”
Technology provides some answers. The orb-like Hedonometer looms over the ground-floor gallery, glowing pink (happy), white (neutral) or blue (sad) in response to real-time data from Twitter. The emotions, or at least the expression of them on social media, prove mostly predictable – happiness peaks on days such as Christmas and Mother’s Day, while misery spikes after horrific events such as the Christchurch mosque shootings. The happiest day in the past 10 years, according to the data? June 26, 2015. It was the day the US Supreme Court legalised same-sex marriage in all 50 states.
Finding pleasure in activism and social change is a theme throughout Hedonism. In the Futures Gallery, visitors can download an app on their phone and enter a spaceship to “connect with” an alien. Pay attention to what happens when you touch it. You might hear an expression of pleasure, or it might be something more concerning. The message is hardly subtle: it’s been constructed to explore issues and attitudes around consent. The exhibit, which Alford says was technically challenging to put together, was inspired by the browser game ADRIFT.
At GDC 2015, Drew Crecente of Jennifer Ann's Group spoke about the power of video games to prevent teen dating violence (TDV).
Teen dating violence (TDV) is scarily prevalent, and Jennifer Ann's group is a non-profit organization that works with teens in order to prevent it. Since 2008, the group has used video games to educate and raise awareness. In the talk, Crecente argued that video games may actually be the most effective pedagogical tool to prevent TDV.
"Evidence-based research supports the efficacy," of video games as a tool for preventing partner violence in teens, said Crecente. They can be used to support experiential learning and empathy-building, and they speak to teens in a language they understand.
Read the full article about preventing violence with video games at Polygon
Although video games are often regarded as mere entertainment, their ability to inform and persuade has become increasingly recognized over the past few years. One topic that has been in the news a great deal recently is consent and bespoke video games about consent are now available.
Video games about consent are an innovative and effective way to engage and educate young people about this important but sensitive topic. Jennifer Ann's Group has published its award-winning video games about consent and they are available to download and play for free: 'Stuck in a Dark Place' from Another Kind in Belgium; 'Crossing Boundaries' from Testudo Games in UK; 'How to Blorrble-Blobble' developed by Jared Sain in USA; and 'ADRIFT' from Quinn Crossley and Andrew Connell in USA.
On Valentine’s Day 2006, Drew Crecente called his daughter to tell her that he loved her.
It was a normal conversation, nothing unusual stood out in his mind. Jennifer Ann was growing into her own, and sometimes that can be difficult for parents. He asked her to be patient.
A few days later, the Atlanta man was told that his 18-year-old daughter was dead, shot to death by an ex-boyfriend in Austin, Texas, where she lived with her mother.
Teen dating violence awareness charity Jennifer Ann’s Group has released the first-place winning entry in its 8th annual Life.Love. Game Design Challenge. The winners were announced in June. The Life.Love. Game Design Challenge encouraged game developers to create a game the promotes education and awareness on teen dating violence and prevention.
Games can be an inviting tool to educate young people on social issues -- like how to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship, how to help a friend or to seek help for oneself.
Since 2008, Jennifer Ann's Group, an organization dedicated to raising awareness about teen dating violence, has run an annual game design competition, launching each February to coincide with National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (I've acted as a competition judge in a couple of the years). Last year's winner, The Guardian, is available on the Android store.
Read about the use of video games to prevent dating abuse at BoingBoing
Video games are often criticized for glamourizing murder, drug abuse and other criminal behavior. However, for Jennifer Ann’s Group, founder Drew Crecente wants to change the perception of video games by showing that they can be an effective way to reach today’s youth and teach them about the seriousness of teen dating violence.
Read the full article about curbing teen dating violence through video games at The Examiner
With February deemed ‘Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month,’ Atlanta native Drew Crecente is on a mission to save lives.
Dating violence among teens is alive and real, and the statistics show a startling trend. In Georgia, the rates of teen dating violence mirror national statistics from the CDC with nearly 13 percent of females and 12 percent of males in high school reporting being physically hurt by someone they were dating.
'It’s a problem that many people do not want to think about, and so it is not discussed as often as it should be,' stated Drew Crecente of Atlanta.
'There was little news coverage of TDV until 2006 when the National Awareness Week began.'
Read the full article about how teen dating violence awareness month helps to save lives at The Examiner
Teen dating violence is a pervasive problem that affects millions of adolescents worldwide. Although there have been various approaches to addressing this problem, using videogames had not been employed before 2008, when Jennifer Ann's Group, an Atlanta, GA–based nonprofit organization, created an annual competition. The Life.Love. Game Design Challenge rewards game developers for creating videogames about teen dating violence without using any violence in the games themselves. The resulting videogames have increased awareness about teen dating violence and provided educational information to assist adolescents, parents, and teachers in identifying abusive relationships.
Across the country there is exciting and innovative work being done to address teen dating abuse! This summer, our National Youth Advisory Board sifted through dozens of nominations and selected the top 10 Trailblazers. These Trailblazers are programs our NYAB found to resonate with youth experiences of relationships and were innovative in their approach, outreach, or youth activism. Each week of TDVAM we will feature programs that deserve recognition for this work, and encourage you to share these ideas with your own organizations or local activists. This spring, submit your local program on Break the Cycle’s website for our National Youth Advisory Board’s selection of a second year of Trailblazers!
We've been making newsgames with the aim of engaging people with real world issues such as the war in Syria and the War on Drugs in Mexico. But games have become a diverse tool that is impacting on more that just the political arena - they are also going for the personal too. Into this interesting space comes 'Love in the Dumpster' - a game billed as a 'serious game about teen dating violence'. This unusually titled game comes from a design challenge asking games developers; "Can you design a game about Teen Dating Violence without using violence itself?"
The sixth annual Life. Love. Game Design Challenge, aimed at increasing awareness of teen dating violence, has announced its winning entries. Overall winner is Love in the Dumpster by Jean Hehn of Belgium, followed by Janie's Sketchbook by Guts Rodsavas and Piti Yindee of GPTouch in Thailand. In third place is YourSpace by Paul McGee, Sam Gross, Lyndsey Moulds, Ross McWilliam and Kayfaraday in Ireland followed by What Kind of Monster is your Boyfriend? by 99Uno in Argentina.
(The games are) more immersive than the average page of text, and they make a point with younger viewers who are wary, or bored, with top-down messages. "It’s something they can explore on their own. If they are sitting in a class in high school, they might feel uncomfortable raising their hand, and asking about the specific effect of an abusive relationship. It carries more weight if they see the game through the eyes of the protagonist. They can identify with that person, and it’s a dynamic experience."
Earlier this year it was announced that for work done by Games for Health Project co-founder, Ben Sawyer, in serious games and games for health that he will be a SxSW Dewey Award Winner. The award is given to 10 people each year by SxSW Interactive as a memory to one of the original organizers of the event, Dewey Winburne. It is used to honor people who have used technology to try and improve the lives of others. As part of the award which he will receive on Sunday March 10 in Austin SxSW is donating $1000.00 to the charity of his choice. The decision is to donate the funds to Jennifer Ann’s Group.
Teen dating violence is a serious, but preventable, public health crisis with long-lasting negative impacts at the local, regional, and national level. Current approaches to prevention are hindered by many complicating factors and innovative evidence-based solutions for prevention are desperately needed.
Teen dating violence (TDV) is a pervasive, complex problem and current solutions are insufficient. Over 40% of all students in the U.S. will 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; CDC, 2006).
Teen dating violence is defined as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence occurring within an adolescent dating relationship or stalking (CDC, 2017). Approximately 25% of all teens report having been abused by a partner within the past year (Foshee, et. al., 1996), 9.6% through physical abuse (CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance, 2015). Further, by the time they graduate from college, 44% of all undergraduate students in the U.S. will have been in an abusive relationship (Forke, et. al., 2008).
Although young women (ages 16 to 24) experience the highest rates of dating violence TDV is an “equal opportunity problem,” affecting teens throughout the United States regardless of gender, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation (Rennison & Welchans, 2000; The National Center for Victims of Crime, http://www.ncvc.org/).
According to a 2009 study by the CDC, 10% of teens report having been physically abused within the past year by a dating partner. By the time students have graduated from college 44% of them will have been in an abusive relationship.
Technology is often leveraged against people in abusive relationships and because teenagers and college students are heavy users of technology they are disproportionately affected by these abusive practices. According to a 2007 study 67% of teens own cell phones, 93% use the internet, and nearly half visit social networking sites daily
A 2007 survey revealed that one-third of teens say they have received up to thirty text messages in one hour by their dating partner demanding to know where they are, who they are with, or what they are doing.Horror stories include a 16-year-old whose ex-boyfriend paid four friends to help him send abusive text messages while he was asleep or at work.
Unfortunately it's not easy to define what is abusive. 'If you're getting 50 messages an hour and you want 50 messages an hour, that's not a problem,' says Marjorie Gilberg, executive director of Break the Cycle, 'But if you're getting 50 messages an hour and you don't even want one, that's very different.' It's also important to note that the phone that a teen was given by his or her parents may not be the only phone they have; one in six teens have been in a relationship where their partner has bought a cell phone or minutes for them.
A 2009 study by MTV and the Associated Press revealed that over ten percent of the teens surveyed had previously had a boyfriend or girlfriend demand to hand over their password. Further, 68% of those that shared their passwords have been a target of abuse via technology as compared to 44% of those who had not shared their passwords. Additionally, nearly one in five (18%) teens say their dating partner used a networking site like Facebook or MySpace to harass them . . .