Logo for video game Culture Overlord

We will control the cultural items that appear in Dan's life. And this will determine Dan's decisions and actions.
What should will you make Dan do today?

About Culture Overlord

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.

Artist Statement

"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

Logo for Culture Overlord video game
Download the video game Culture Overlord
Download the video game Culture Overlord

Download Culture Overlord (1.1.2)
(WIN/MAC/LINUX)
★Now also at Amazon Appstore

Development Produced by ESRB Rating Price Ads In-App Purchases
Lucas Vially Jennifer Ann's Group E (Everyone) Free None None

Media Literacy

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?"[1]

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."[2] 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."[3]

According to common sense media [4], encouraging early education in media literacy is intended to help young people:

  1. learn to think critically
  2. become a smart consumer of products and information
  3. recognize point of view
  4. create media responsibly
  5. identify the role of media in our culture
  6. 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.[6] 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."[7]

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


Culture Overlord
Game Credits

Game Design

Lucas Vially

Art and Programming

Lucas Vially

Producer

Jennifer Ann's Group

Advisory Board

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

Game Reviewers

Leigh Alexander
Harley Baldwin
Maria Burns Ortiz
Simon Carless
Brian Crecente
Drew Crecente, JD
Sabrina Culyba
Dr. Pat DeLeon
Mark DeLoura
Dr. Ruud Jacobs
Keen Seong Liew
Stephanie Mathes
Dr. Brooke Morrill
Dr. Elizabeth L. Richeson
Jo Sharpen
Peter Willington

Testing & Diverse Help

Vincent Vially
Noé Sultani
Péter György Szabó
Mil Beges
Sandro Ferrand
Stephanie Mathes

Game Soundtrack

f-r-a-g-i-l-e
Kevin Mac Leod
Monplaisir
Komiku
JNGS
axtoncrolley
andrewkn

Sponsors

The Estate of Dr. Angela E. Ladogana
Dr. David Wilbanks
Carefree Homes
Drew Crecente
Freeport McMoRan
Helen of Troy
Industrial Realty Group
Dr. Elizabeth L. Richeson
Paul Richeson
Schell Games
Stanlee & Jerry Rubin
Verlander Enterprises, Inc.

El Paso Electric Company
WestStar Bank
Dr. Katherine and Russell Brehm
Judge Linda Chew
Fox Auto Team
Tomas G. Marino, DMD
Peak Behavioral Health Services
Dr. Cynthia Rivera
Tropicana Homes
Dan, the easily influenced student from the video game Culture Overlord