Teen Dating Violence and video games

Teen dating violence is the physical, sexual, or psychological/emotional violence in a dating relationship. Although the label teen dating violence implies that it only applies to teenagers it also encompasses tweens (11 and 12 year olds) as well as young adults in their early twenties.

The majority of the video games on JAGga.me focus on teen dating violence and come from an annual video game design contest sponsored by Jennifer Ann's Group, the sponsor of JAGga.me. The Life.Love. Game Design Challenge has been rewarding video game developers for producing video games about teen dating violence since 2008.

Video games have been shown to be effective in changing attitudes about abusive behavior, increasing knowledge of dating violence, and increasing awareness of teen dating violence. "'It's like you're actually playing as yourself': Development and Preliminary evaluation of 'Green Acres High', a serious game-based primary intervention to combat adolescent dating violence" from CAVA shares their success in using a video game to change attitudes about abusive behavior in the UK, Sweden, Germany, and Belgium.

Changing attitudes about teen dating violence and increasing awareness is critical to preventing future abuse. Teen dating violence has been shown to be linked to a number of unhealthy behaviors including:

  • increased alcohol and drug use
  • increased teeenager preganancies
  • dropping out of school
  • greatly increased chance of being in an abusive relationship as an adult.

Jennifer Ann's Group produces video games as an effective tool to prevent dating violence through awareness, education, and advocacy. To learn more about Jennifer Ann's Group's use of video games to prevent violence visit JenniferAnn.org.

You can read more about Jennifer Ann's Group use of video games to prevent dating violence in the journal article written by Jennifer Ann's Group Executive Director "Gaming Against Violence: A Grassroots Approach to Teen Dating Violence" (subscription) in the August 2014 issue of Games for Health Journal.

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