Bystander is an interactive, computer-based narrative with roleplaying elements that explores the responsibility of the bystander in a variety of scenarios. In this single-player game the player takes the perspective of Casey, a high school junior on his way to school. While Casey sends text messages to his friends, Diego and Ally, a weekend event triggers his memories of a school presentation on bystander intervention. As the presenter speaks, Casey vividly imagines four scenarios as interactive moments through which the player learns skills to be a successful bystander.
Bystander (the game) is a theoretically-based bystander intervention targeting high school youth that aims to increase the skills, attitudes, and awareness needed to empower youth to help end sexual violence. Bystander intervention is a framework that views sexual violence prevention as a community responsibility and has shown promise in increasing empathy for victims of sexual assault and intervention behaviors, while decreasing rape myth acceptance (Salazar et al., 2014). The approach is pro-social, allowing youth to adopt a positive role in combating sexual assault in their communities. Other benefits of the bystander framework are that it (1) discourages victim-blaming (2) offers the opportunity to change social norms and (3) gives responsibility to both men and women (Tabachnick, 2009).
Now a 2015 Round 1 funded project, Game Changer is partnering with Peer Health Exchange to build a curriculum around Bystander start testing the game in schools.
Salazar L.F., Vivolo-Kantor A., Hardin J., and Berkowitz A. (2014). A web-based sexual violence bystander intervention for male college students: randomized controlled trial. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(9): e203.
Tabachnick, J. (2009). Engaging Bystanders in Sexual Assault Prevention. National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Retrieved from: http://www.nsvrc.org/sites/default/files/Publications_NSVRC_Booklets_Engaging-Bystanders-in-Sexual-Violence-Prevention.pdf