A group of diverse students in a high school hallway.
Project Overview
Bystander is a theoretically-based intervention targeting high school youth that aims to increase the skills, attitudes, and awareness to prevent sexual violence.  This game lets the player explore, try different responses, and learn the right way to address sexual misconduct.  
My primary role was project manager however, I also created art assets and programmed Bystander's main menu. I worked closely with our lead researcher researchers to design and develop the fourth game scenario. Lastly, I supported our lead artist in the development of in-game art assets.   
GCC is now studying the impact of Bystander by implementing it with 1,000 high school students in Chicago.
To accommodate an educational framework, we designed the game around four major sexual assault using 2D graphics and point-and-click game mechanics.
Sexual Harassment Scenario
Players clicks through interactive moments and must determine if they are instances of sexual harassment. A couple kissing is vastly different from grabbing a stranger's butt. Players must work through each scene and correctly find ways to intervene, finally reporting all forms of sexual harassment to their guidance counselor. 
Examples of sexual harassment are touching another person without consent.
Partner-on-partner sexual assault
Players have a conversation with a young woman assaulted by her boyfriend. The player must identify and refute rape myths as she tells her story by selecting the correct dialogue options. In this scenario, we represent culturally accepted rape myths such as "she lied", or "they didn't mean to." 
Two teenage girls discussing a date experience that lead to an instance of sexual assault.
Alcohol and Sexual Assault at a Party
The player is at a party and witnesses an impending assault by a male friend.  By alternating between two points of view, the player must interact with each scene finding ways they could potentially intervene. However, not every prop is a potential solution.
A character selection screen containing an African-American girl and Caucasian boy
Male Sexual Assault
This scenario has players searching for resources to help a male friends who has been sexually assaulted. The player's friend asks a series of questions that is displayed on screen.  The player must find the answer by exploring an in-game website. 
For this scenario, I designed and programmed the user interface, website interactions and animations changes. 
Two boys walking next to each other. One has a cell phone in his hand and is navigating a website.
The Bystander Team
Principal Investigators: Melissa Gilliam and Patrick Jagoda
Project Manager: Ashlyn Sparrow
Research Manager: Erin Jaworski
Lead Developer: Mason Arrington
Lead Artist: Philip Ehrenberg
Narrative by: Patrick Jagoda and Seed Lynn
Design by: Mason Arrington, Philip Ehrenberg, Erin Jaworski, Ashlyn Sparrow
Production Assistants: Bea Malsky and Keith Wilson
Back to Top