Culture Overlord is a video game developed by Lucas Vially and produced by Jennifer Ann's Group. It is the winning game of the 2020 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and was created for the Gaming Against Violence program which focuses on teen dating violence prevention.
"Making a game is quite a challenge. Making a game to adequately teach something is even more difficult. The topic of culture and its influence on our daily lives is complex and important. I hope my game manages to effectively introduce players to the subject."
- Lucas Vially, Creator of Culture Overlord
||Jennifer Ann's Group
An important goal of Culture Overlord is to encourage players, especially young people, to consider what impact movies, books, songs, games, websites, and more has on them. More specifically, what attitudes and beliefs are they acquiring from these various forms of media. In their Parent's Guide to Media Literacy The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) asks parents "where do children get their beliefs?" and "what messages are they receiving?"
Similarly the Center for Media Literacy (CML) conducts research to study how media impacts students in the areas of "violence, nutrition, body image, and sexuality." Media Smarts in Canada encourages educators to engage students about media in the classroom in order to "become active, enaged media consumers" and that the need for this media literacy education "needs to start at the very early stages of learning."
According to common sense media , encouraging early education in media literacy is intended to help young people:
- learn to think critically
- become a smart consumer of products and information
- recognize point of view
- create media responsibly
- identify the role of media in our culture
- understand the author's goal
Unfortunately media literacy is not taught in classrooms very often. According to Media Literacy now, fewer than one-third of states include media literacy in their education standards. Further, the media literacy curricula include for-profit corporations that don't sufficiently consider the roles played by "power dynamics, profit motives, or their own internal beliefs and biases."
Select Media Literacy Resources
Healthy Dating Relationships
The primary goal of Culture Overlord is to prevent teen dating violence. The aim is to do this through promotion of healthy dating relationships for adolescents. Media literacy is important to achieve this goal to the extent that young people's attitudes and beliefs regarding healthy relationships and gender norms are heavily informed by the media to which they are exposed.
The Making Caring Common project's report The Talk: How Adults Can Promote Young People's Healthy Relationships and Prevent Misogyny and Sexual Harassment reveals that young people are tired of the media's overhyped focus on "hooking up" and would prefer to instead learn from their parents and their schools about healthy relationships. Some of the key findings from their report:
- ► 70% of the 18 to 25-year-olds surveyed would have liked more information from their parents about emotional aspects of romantic relationships
- ► 65% of those surveyed would have liked more guidance at school about emotional aspects of romantic relationships
- ► 76% of respondents never had a conversation with their parents about how to avoid sexually harassing others
- ► 32% of male and 22% of female respondents thought men should be dominant in romantic relationships
- ► 14% of males and 10% of females thought women should be dominant in romantic relationships
- ► 57% of responsdents never spoke with their parents about the “importance of not having sex with someone who is too intoxicated or impaired to make a decision about sex”
Jennifer Ann's Group, a nonprofit charity focused on teen dating violence prevention, uses prosocial video games in an effort to engage and educate young people about healthy relationships and related topics. Through their program, Gaming Against Violence, Jennifer Ann's Group has been producing, publishing, and researching video games intentionally designed to assist adolescents about a variety of topics including consent, healthy relationships, and teen dating violence prevention.
Healthy Dating Relationship Resources
Art and Programming
Jennifer Ann's Group
Katherine Brehm, Ph.D. - Clinical Psychologist
Myrna Deckert, Paso Del Norte Health Foundation
Elizabeth L. Richeson, Ph.D., MS PsyPharm - Clinical Psychologist
Paul Richeson, LCSW - Marriage and Family Counselor
Blake Riddell, Psy.D. - Clinical Psychologist
Maria Burns Ortiz
Drew Crecente, JD
Dr. Pat DeLeon
Dr. Ruud Jacobs
Keen Seong Liew
Dr. Brooke Morrill
Dr. Elizabeth L. Richeson
Testing & Diverse Help
Péter György Szabó
Kevin Mac Leod
The Estate of Dr. Angela E. Ladogana
Dr. David Wilbanks
Helen of Troy
Industrial Realty Group
Dr. Elizabeth L. Richeson
Stanlee & Jerry Rubin
Verlander Enterprises, Inc.
El Paso Electric Company
Dr. Katherine and Russell Brehm
Judge Linda Chew
Fox Auto Team
Tomas G. Marino, DMD
Peak Behavioral Health Services
Dr. Cynthia Rivera
(CC BY-ND 4.0) This game is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. | Website design is © HTML5 UP
Jennifer Ann's Group® and Gaming Against Violence are trademarks of The Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Group, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit (EIN:20-4618499)