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Adaptation and Evaluation of Video Game to Reduce Sexual Violence on Campus

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $579,301)

The project adapts an established and evidence based sexual violence prevention bystander intervention in-person program and social marketing campaign to create a digital Interactive Simulation Video Game (ISVG) for use on mobile devices and the Web. Like the standard interventions, the in-person program and the social marketing campaign, we expect students who play the ISVG will learn and practice active bystander skills that can be used to end sexual violence. Our research will examine whether an ISVG can provide players with the type of knowledge conveyed through a bystander in-person program in a comprehensive and cost-effective manner. We will establish an 'ISVG Advisory Board' during the research that will include professionals from the behavioral sciences, victim services, prevention, public health, criminal justice, and game design fields. Further, from our work developing the Know Your Power® Bystander Social Marketing Campaign, we know the importance of including undergraduate students, the target audience for the proposed online game in every aspect of the game design and implementation. Therefore, target audience members will be included in all aspects of the ISVG prototype development and will be offered academic credit for their participation in the development phase of the ISVG. The proposed research will take place in two phases: (1) In partnership with Dartmouth's Tiltfactor laboratory, we will adapt content previously developed and evaluated for the Bringing in the Bystander® In-Person Prevention Program and the Know Your Power® Bystander Social Marketing Campaign into an ISVG prototype. (2) In the second phase of the proposed research we will administer a two-phase pilot evaluation of the ISVG with 480 participants at two institutions to gather quantitative and qualitative feedback. The feedback will be used to modify the ISVG prototype to ensure that it is an effective mechanism for engaging students and reducing sexual violence in campus communities. Game design is an iterative process, and data always informs 'tweaks' to improve both the experience of the game through the design and the results of the intervention regarding its efficacy. Thus, we will identify the design elements that yield the most promising data, and highlight their prominence. The iterative process helps us ensure that the target audience members will relate to the ISVG and internalize the messages from ISVG. We expect that by delivering a prevention strategy to men in an online application, a format that they use daily, male participants will report increased attention to the message. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 14, 2014