£4.5m project creates game to reduce levels of domestic violence

A game is being developed at the None in Three research centre, part of the University of Huddersfield, that aims to tackle domestic violence and gender violence.

The project aspires to lower levels of these types of violence by creating multiple different games for audiences around the world, and is backed by £4.5 million. It will show off some of the project’s progress at the London Design Fair as a part of the Design Research for Change showcase, hosted by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

As part of the fair, the game could be seen by tens of thousands who attend, with Ni3 showing off how the game is taking shape, its storyline, character development, and videos of in-development gameplay. Ni3 itself is named for the global statistic that shows one in three women and girls are currently subjected to physical violence in their lifetime.

The Ni3 centre’s project has the stated goal of making and evaluating ‘prosocial’ games that will help prevent gender-based violence. Rather than just one title released to the world, the project will involve the creation of different versions, each tailored to a specific locale and focusing on key elements specific to a region. As well as a UK version, there will be ones for India, Uganda, and Jamaica. Experts in social work and psychology have provided research-based data for the games, with more typical devs now on-board creating the end products.

As the press release states: “The UK game – which is the most advanced in its development – focuses on intimate partner violence in teenage relationships and tackles emotional as well as physical abuse. It is an issue that affects as many as one in three girls and, to a lesser but still significant extent, boys too.”

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