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
This is the first of a series of posts on Bystander, Ci3 and Game Changer Chicago Design Lab‘s digital game and intervention. Now in development, Bystander seeks to empower youth to help end sexual violence. In the following post, GCC Lab Director Ashlyn Sparrow shares why Bystander, and bystander intervention, is important to her.