The findings and methodology are presented for a project whose goal was to develop and test a video game that would teach college students how to identify and intervene in situations of actual or potential sexual violence.
The project consisted of four phases. In Phase I, two game prototypes were designed through an ongoing collaboration between a workgroup of nine students at a mid-sized public university (the project's home institution in New England) and video-game developers. A trivia game prototype and an adventure game prototype were designed and then evaluated by four focus group sessions of college students unfamiliar with the project. Phase II consisted of 13 focus groups with 120 college students unaffiliated with the project, who evaluated and improved the adventure game prototype. In Phase III, 305 first-year college students at the project's home institution participated in 20 game-testing sessions in a pilot study to test both prototypes. Phase IV involved testing revised versions of the game prototypes at both a public and private institution in New England. Pilot testing has identified several possibilities for improving game playability and quality. Project personnel will continue to make improvements and assess which aspects of the games are the most effective. In the future, they hope to share new and improved versions of these games with similar institutions across the United States as a means of reducing the prevalence of sexual violence among U.S. college students.
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