About the Life.Love. Game Design Challenge

Jennifer Ann's Group is proud to announce its 12th annual video game design challenge.

Since 2008 we have been challenging game designers to create serious video games to prevent abusive dating relationships.

Through our annual competition, game developers from around the world win cash prizes and have their games featured by Jennifer Ann's Group, a nonprofit charity using serious games and technology to prevent teen dating violence in memory of Jennifer Ann Crecente.

The theme for the 2019 challenge is gaslighting:

Can you create a video game about gaslighting . . . without using any violence in the game?

Gaslighting Challenge Overview

We believe video games are the most effective tool for exploring complex issues. The winning game will help others better understand gaslighting and its impact.

The Gaslighting Game Challenge will consist of two rounds. Round One will consist of submitting a proposed game narrative. This game narrative will entail answering the questions on the game registration form. Round Two will be limited to 10 Finalists selected from the Round One narrative submissions. You do not need to be a game developer or game designer in order to become a Finalist - you just need to have a clever idea that you believe would translate well into a compelling video game about gaslighting!

Round One game pitches were due by March 31, 2019

Round Two video games about gaslighting due: August 1, 2019

Gaslight Game Challenge Process

When entrants registered for the contest they had the opportunity to answer the questions below.

You are pitching an idea for a persuasive game while will help players to better understand gaslighting as well as its impact. Although the context for gaslighting here involves dating relationships the games do not need to be limited to this context as long as it effectively conveys to game players what gaslighting is and how it can impact others.

The Elephant in the Room our Mentions

Although we realize that discussion of gaslighting has become more prevalent in large part due to the current political environment, a game that focuses strictly on gaslighting in politics might be too narrow to be very effective for our purposes.

In part this is because if the game is perceived as too partisan some people who would otherwise benefit from it will instead avoid it.

And we don't want a game about gaslighting to be avoided because we genuinely believe everybody would benefit by better understanding psychological abuse, of which gaslighting is just one form. To that end we hope for a gaslighting game that many people would play and learn from.

So, for example, if a politician tells the public "any criticism from the media about me is a lie" and they say this in order to convince listeners that the politician is the sole arbiter of truth in an effort to define, and thereby exert greater control over, the public's reality then that is gaslighting.

Remember that the underlying dynamic in gaslighting is about power and control; ultimately the reason an abuser is gaslighting their target is in order to have more control over them. This is because when people are tricked into doubting their own reality they become more reliant on the person who created the false reality.

When people are tricked into doubting their own reality they become more reliant on the person who created the false reality. This is one way abusers gain power and control.

Gaslight Game Design Challenge Tweet

But sometimes what is seen in politics is less "gaslighting" than just old-fashioned lying. In any event, the point is that while gaslighting can be seen in many contexts our primary goal through this game design challenge is to increase awareness and change attitudes about the impact of gaslighting at the interpersonal level. We recognize that it can be tricky finding the proper balance.

If you can envision a video game that helps the player recognize gaslighting, understand its impact, and as a result avoid engaging in, or being manipulated by, gaslighting then that is a game that we'd love to play. We hope to see narratives crafted around that game for our gaslighting game challenge.


Round One: Questions were due by March 31, 2019

  • Q1: What is the title of your gaslighting game?
  • Q2: Write a short description of your gaslighting game. After reading your description players should want to start playing your game. (100 - 150 words)
  • Q3: How will your game use graphics and sound to engage, reward, inform, and persuade players about the meaning and impact of gaslighting? (100 - 150 words)
  • Q4: How will your game effectively use narrative and game mechanics to engage, reward, inform, and persuade players about the meaning and impact of gaslighting? (100 - 150 words)
  • Q5: How will your game effectively use social and emotional persuasion to engage, reward, inform, and persuade players about the meaning and impact of gaslighting? (100 - 150 words)

Round Two: Games about gaslighting due by August 1, 2019

Finalists were notified in April that their proposed game narrative was selected to move on to Round Two of the contest. Round Two began April 2019 and Finalists have until August 1, 2019 to design and develop their video game about gaslighting. The finished video games will then be reviewed and scored to determine the final winners.

Details regarding technical requirements, final judging guidelines, and any other pertinent information has been distributed to the Finalists. In addition to 3 winners, 1 non-winning Finalist will be randomly selected to receive the Door Prize.

Gaslighting Challenge Prizes

Finalists

Finalists will be selected from the submitted game narratives. Although the number of finalists will depend on the quanitity and quality of submitted narratives our current plan is to limit the contest to 10 Finalists. These finalists will move on to the second phase of the contest: design and development of their video game about gaslighting. The completed gaslight games will then be reviewed and scored to determine the final winners. In addition to 3 winners, 1 non-winning finalist will be randomly selected to receive the Door Prize.

All Finalists will receive critiques of their entry by industry experts. Additionally, all winning games will be published on various platforms as well as being featured on our serious games portal located at JAGga.me.

  • First Place: a $10,000 college scholarship (or cash equivalent)
  • Second Place: a $2,000 college scholarship (or cash equivalent)
  • Third Place: a $500 college scholarship (or cash equivalent)
  • Door Prize: a $100 college scholarship (or cash equivalent)

Gaslight Game Challenge Judges

As in the past, the judges consist of experts and thought leaders in the world of video games as well as experts on the issue of abusive dating relationships - especially as it impacts young people. This year's judges are still being finalized but here are the judges who have already signed up.

FAQs - Gaslight Game Challenge

About the Contest

What is the 'Life.Love. Game Design Challenge'?

The Life.Love. Game Design Challenge is an annual contest open to game designers and game developers around the world. Designers and developers are invited to create their own video game to prevent teen dating violence.

Why is Jennifer Ann's Group doing this contest?

Dating abuse is a problem affecting people of all ages around the world. We are a non-profit organization that has been working to prevent teen dating violence in memory of Jennifer Ann Crecente, a high school senior killed by her ex-boyfriend in 2006. Jennifer Ann's Group was founded by Jen's dad.

Although we have traditional outreach programs we considered how we could leverage technology to better reach and help young people about this serious issue. Given the popularity of video games -- especially among young people -- we thought it might be interesting to see if video game designers could create serious games about teen dating violence in order to increase awareness and provide educational information about this serious public health issue. In 2008 we launched the first annual Life.Love. Game Design Challenge.

At the time we didn't realize how powerful video games can be at addressing serious issues like dating abuse. We now know - in part through our own research and third-party researchers - that digital games are fantastic tools for engaging people in uniquely compelling ways. This is due in part because through digital games: players more easily understand complex, nuanced issues; players become invested and engaged in the success of the game's outcome; and players can safely explore and experience otherwise dangerous situations in context.

Every year since 2008 we have presented this annual game design competition encouraging developers to create video games related to abusive relationships. Our hope is that through video games people around the world will gain a better understanding of - and be less accepting of - dating abuse.

What else can you tell me about the games that have come from this program?

Thanks for asking! Here is some more info:

# of games produced since 2008: > 50
Topics addressed: bystander awareness, consent, gaslighting (soon!), healthy relationships, teen dating violence
Winners' countries: Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, India, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States
Platforms: Amazon App Store; Amazon Echo ("Alexa"); Apple App Store; Blackberry; Google Play; HTML5; Windows Phone
Published research: Gaming Against Violence: An Exploratory Evaluation ...
Playing Against Abuse: Effects of Procedural and Narrative Persuasive Games

Entry Information

How do I get started?

Check out the instructions in the How the Contest Works section and be sure to Register and send us your entry before the March 31 deadline.

Who is allowed to enter?

Anybody aged 13+ at the time of entry is eligible to enter (void where prohibited). Officers, employees, and immediate family members of Jennifer Ann's Group are prohibited from entering the video game design challenge.

Can I enter more than once?

Sorry, but no. Make sure and enter your best game because you only get one chance to enter each year!

What are the technical requirements?

Round One of the contest only requires submitting the text of your proposed game narrative. If you are selected as a Finalist you will receive all necessary information to proceed, including the technical requirements for your final video game entry.

What are the content requirements?

The Round One form will provide you with specific requirements regarding content. As with all of our game design contests no violent content is permitted in the game entries.

How long do I have to enter?

Round One is only open from March 17, 2019 through March 31, 2019 so don't delay! The Finalists will be notified in April and will then have until August 1, 2019 to submit their final video games.

Do you accept group entries?

Yes - please just identify a primary contact person when you Register on the Round One submission form.

Where can I learn more about gaslighting?

Visit our Gaslighting Games site for information and resources about gaslighting.

Judging and Selection Process

What criteria will be used for judging?

Round One of the contest will be judged based on the creativity of your proposed game narrative and the potential for that idea to be developed into a compelling video game which will help explain gaslighting and its impact.

Judging details and scoring rubric for Round Two will be distributed to all Finalists at the time that they are notified of their Finalist status.

Gaslighting Game Design Challenge Rules

No purchase necessary to enter or win. Void where prohibited. Entry in this contest constitutes your acceptance of these official rules.

The 2019 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge (the "Contest") is designed to encourage participants ("Entrant(s)" or "You") to use their creativity to create their own video game that demonstrates the concept and impact of gaslighting. Jennifer Ann's Group and / or its representatives will select Finalists from those eligible entries submitted in Round One. Finalists will be eligible to participate in Round Two and will submit completed video games. Judges will choose the winning entries from the Round Two eligible submissions, and prizes will be awarded in accordance with these Official Rules (these "Rules").

  1. BINDING AGREEMENT: In order to enter the Contest, you must agree to the Rules. Therefore, please read these Rules prior to entry to ensure you understand and agree. You agree that submission of an entry in the Contest constitutes agreement to these Rules and that you may not submit an entry to the Contest and are not eligible to receive the prizes described in these Rules unless you agree to these Rules. These Rules form a binding legal agreement between you and Jennifer Ann's Group with respect to the Contest.

  2. ELIGIBILITY: To be eligible to enter the Contest, an Entrant must: (a) be 13 years of age (or older) at time of entry; and (b) have obtained a parent's or legal guardian's prior permission if under the age of majority ("Minors") in their jurisdiction. Minors who enter must have the written consent of a parent or legal guardian in order to be eligible to receive any prizes, as described in Section 8 of these Rules. Contest is void where prohibited by law. Employees, interns, contractors, and official office-holders of Jennifer Ann's Group, and its parent company, subsidiaries, affiliates, and their respective directors, officers, employees, advertising and promotion agencies, representatives, and agents ("Contest Entities") are ineligible to participate in this Contest.

  3. SPONSOR: The Contest is sponsored by the Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Group, Inc. d/b/a Jennifer Ann's Group("Jennifer Ann's Group" or "Sponsor"), a Georgia non-profit corporation (501 c(3)) with principal place of business at 2554 Drew Valley Rd NE, Atlanta, GA, 30319, USA. (EIN: 20-4618499).

  4. CONTEST PERIOD:

    Round One of the Contest begins on March 17th, 2019 and ends on March 31st, 2019 at 11:59pm Eastern Time (ET) Zone (GMT-4) ("Round One Contest Period").

    Round Two of the Contest begins on April 15th, 2019 and ends on August 1st, 2019 at 11:59pm Eastern Time (ET) Zone (GMT-4) ("Round Two Contest Period"). All dates are subject to change.

  5. HOW TO ENTER: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. To enter the Contest, visit the Contest website located at https://gaslight.games/contest/ ("Contest Site") during the Contest Period and follow the instructions that appear in the "Gaslight Game Challenge Process" section. You will be requested to complete an official entry form ("Entry Form") with all requested information, including your responses to the questions about your proposed gaslighting video game ("Game Narrative") Entry Forms can only be submitted by Entrants. Those Entrants notified by Jennifer Ann's Group that they have been selected to proceed to Round Two of the Contest ("Finalists") shall participate in Round Two of the Contest by submitting their completed video game entry ("Completed Video Game").

    LIMIT ONE (1) GAME NARRATIVE PER ENTRANT IN ROUND ONE. Subsequent entries will replace, and be treated as, the initial entry. Any submission not meeting the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified. Jennifer Ann's Group accepts no responsibility for submissions lost, delayed, damaged, defaced, or mislaid, howsoever caused. All entries will be deemed made by the Entrant submitted at the time of entry.

    LIMIT ONE (1) COMPLETED VIDEO GAME PER FINALIST IN ROUND TWO. Subsequent entries will replace, and be treated as, the initial entry. Any submission not meeting the aforementioned criteria will be disqualified. Jennifer Ann's Group accepts no responsibility for submissions lost, delayed, damaged, defaced, or mislaid, howsoever caused. All entries will be deemed made by the Entrant submitted at the time of entry.

  6. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS. The Game Narrative submissions for Round One and Completed Video game submissions for Round Two must meet the following criteria ("Entry Requirements"):

    1. They must not contain any on-screen depictions of violence.

    2. They must not be derogatory, offensive, threatening, defamatory, disparaging, libellous or contain any content that is tortuous, slanderous, discriminatory in any way, or that promotes hatred or harm against any group or person, or otherwise does not comply with the theme and spirit of the Contest.
    3. They must not contain content, material or any element that is unlawful, or otherwise in violation of or contrary to all applicable federal, state, or local laws and regulation including the laws or regulations in any jurisdiction where the entry is created.

    4. They must not contain any content, material or element that displays any third party advertising, slogan, logo, trademark, or otherwise indicates a sponsorship or endorsement by a third party or commercial entity. For Round Two Finalists, Text acknowledgements are acceptable in the Completed Video Game entries; additionally, Jennifer Ann's Group will supply a 400x200px image identifying Jennifer Ann's Group as the sponsor; the image will be placed on the Finalists' Completed Video Game entry's splash screen.

    5. They must only contain text, graphics, and audio that entrants have proper rights to use (e.g. works in the public domain; original creation by the entrant; rights granted by rights owner).

    6. They cannot contain any content, element, or material that violates a third party's publicity, privacy, or intellectual property rights.
    • During the Contest Period, the Sponsor, its agents and/or the Judges will be evaluating the Entries to ensure that they meet the Entry Requirements. The Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any Entrant who submits an entry that does not meet the Entry Requirements. Incomplete entries or entries not complying with these Rules are subject to disqualification.
  7. ROUND ONE JUDGING: Each Game Narrative will be evaluated based on the following "Criteria":
    1. potential educational value of the proposed game to explain and / or demonstrate gaslighting and its impact on others
    2. potential entertainment value of the proposed game
    3. potential of the proposed game to increase awareness about gaslighting
    4. potential of the proposed game to persuade game players that gaslighting is unacceptable in dating relationships
    5. game elements of the proposed game
    6. adherence to the Game Narrative, Entry Requirements, and these Rules.
    ROUND TWO JUDGING: Each Completed Video Game will be evaluated and scored based on the following "Criteria":
    1. educational value of the game to explain and / or demonstrate gaslighting and its impact on others
    2. entertainment value of the game
    3. potential of the game to increase awareness about gaslighting
    4. potential of the game to persuade game players that gaslighting is unacceptable in dating relationships
    5. game elements
    6. adherence to the Video Game, Entry Requirements, and these Rules.

  8. Notifications:

    • Round One Finalists Finalists will be notified on or before April 15th, 2019 by email.

    • Potential Winners Potential winners will be notified on or before August 31st, 2019 by email.

    • Decisions of the judges are final and binding. In the event there are not enough eligible entries, not all prizes will be awarded. If a potential winner is unable for whatever reason to accept his or her prize, then Jennifer Ann's Group reserves the right to award the prize to another entrant.

    • Notification of Potential Finalists / Winners: Becoming a Finalist / Winner is subject to validation and verification of eligibility and compliance with all the terms and conditions set forth in these Rules. If a potential Finalist is disqualified for any reason, a replacement Game Narrative Entry entrant might be chosen as a potential Finalist. If a potential Winner is disqualified for any reason, the Completed Video Game that received the next highest total score will be chosen as the potential winner. The potential finalist(s) / winner(s) will be selected and notified by email.

    • If a potential Finalist does not respond to the notification attempt within three (3) days from the first notification attempt, then such potential Finalist may be disqualified and an alternate potential Finalist might be selected from among all eligible Game Narrative entries received based on the judging Criteria described herein.

    • If a potential Winner does not respond to the notification attempt within three (3) days from the first notification attempt, then such potential winner may be disqualified and an alternate potential winner will be selected from among all eligible entries received based on the judging Criteria described herein.

    • Except where prohibited by law, each potential winner will be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability and Publicity Release and provide any additional information that may be required by Sponsor. If required, potential winners must return all such required documents via fax (or as otherwise instructed) within forty-eight (48) hours following attempted notification or such potential winner will be deemed to have forfeited the prize and another potential winner may be selected based on the judging Criteria described herein.

    • In the event the potential winner is a minor, his or her parent or legal guardian must sign the documents and return them as described herein. All notification requirements, as well as other requirements within these Rules, will be strictly enforced. Determinations of Judges are final and binding. All winners, including any parent representatives, agree to keep the Completed Video Game strictly confidential between time of submission and the Completed Video Game's final launch by Jennifer Ann's Group.
  9. PRIZES:

    The 1st place winner will win a $10,000 scholarship to be used at the school of their choice or for any other purpose they might choose. The Winner's Video Game will be displayed on the serious video game portal JAGga.me website for the remainder of 2019 at a minimum.

    The 2nd place winner will win a $2,000 scholarship to be used at the school of their choice of for any other purpose they might choose. The 2nd place winner's Video Game will be displayed on the serious video game portal JAGga.me website for the remainder of 2019 at a minimum.

    The 3rd place winner will win a $500 scholarship to be used at the school of their choice or for any other purpose they might choose. The 3rd place winner's Video Game will be displayed on the serious video game portal JAGga.me website for the remainder of 2019 at a minimum.

    The door prize winner will win a $100 scholarship to be used at the school of their choice or for any other purpose they might choose.

    Further details regarding prize distribution will be provided to winners in the prize acceptance documents but will be approximately four (4) to six (6) weeks after Sponsor's receipt of prize acceptance documents from winners.

  10. TAXES: Entrants are responsible for any federal, state, and local tax consequences and for compliance with all governmental reporting and payment requirements. Winning funds will be sent in U.S. Dollars via cashier's check or via PayPal (at the option of the winners). Winners will be responsible for any fees assessed by PayPal if they prefer to recieve their winnings via PayPal (there is no cost associated with receiving winnings via cashier's check).

  11. GENERAL CONDITIONS: At the time of submitting a Completed Video Game all Round Two Finalists will also electronically provide to Jennifer Ann's Group all source files and components necessary to re-create the Completed Video Game ("Source Code"). Jennifer Ann's Group may use this Source Code to port the Completed Video Game to other platforms; provide language translations; update content; develop derivative works; and / or to localize such game for other countries at Jennifer Ann's Group's sole discretion.

  12. INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS: All prize winners give Jennifer Ann's Group the right to the Entrant's name, voice, picture, portrait, and likeness for advertising and promotion purposes without further compensation, where permitted by law. All prize winners also give their consent to Jennifer Ann's Group and to those whom Jennifer Ann's Group may authorize, to photograph, film, videotape, and /or to use a photographic / digital reproduction of their entry with or without their name, to identify them by name, and/or to quote or record statements made by them, for any editorial, promotional, marketing, or other purpose broadly related to the mission of Jennifer Ann's Group ("the prevention of teen dating violence"). This consent does not extend to the purposes of endorsement of product or service advertising for any unrelated third parties. As a condition of receiving their prize, winning entrants must grant Jennifer Ann's Group the non-exclusive, royalty-free, licensable, assignable rights to all: compiled, object, and source code; necessary media files; and associated intellectual property rights of their entry for purposes of publishing, promotion, research, creation of derivative works, and internal use.

  13. WARRANTY AND INDEMNITY: Entrants warrant that their entries are their own original work and, as such, they are the sole and exclusive owner and rights holder of the submitted Game Narrative / Completed Video Game and that they have the right to submit the Game Narrative / Completed Video Game to the Contest and to grant all required licenses. Each Entrant agrees not to submit any Game Narrative / Completed Video Game that: (a) infringes any third party proprietary rights, intellectual property rights, industrial property rights, personal or moral rights or any other rights, including without limitation, copyright, trademark, trade names, industrial designs, patent, trade secret, privacy, publicity or confidentiality obligations; or (b) otherwise violates applicable international, state, federal, or local law.

    To the maximum extent permitted by law, Entrant indemnifies and agrees to keep indemnified Sponsor at all times from and against any liability, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, and expenses resulting from any act, default, or omission of the Entrant and/or a breach of any warranty set forth herein. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Entrant agrees to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless Sponsor from and against any and all claims, actions, suits, or proceedings, as well as any and all losses, liabilities, damages, costs, and expenses (including reasonable attorneys fees) arising out of or accruing from: (i) any Game Narrative / Completed Video Game or other material uploaded or otherwise provided by Entrant that infringes any copyright, trademark, trade secret, trade dress, patent, or other intellectual property right of any person or defames any person or violates their rights of publicity or privacy; (ii) any misrepresentation made by Entrant in connection with the Contest; (iii) any non-compliance by Entrant with these Rules; (iv) claims brought by persons or entities other than the parties to these Rules arising from or related to Entrant's involvement with the Contest; (v) acceptance, possession, misuse, or use of any prize or participation in any Contest-related activity or participation in the Contest; (vi) any malfunction or other problem with the Contest Site in relation to the entry and participation in the Contest by Entrant; (vii) any error in the collection, processing, or retention of entry or voting information in relation to the entry and participation in the Contest by Entrant and in the voting process by consumers; or (viii) any typographical or other error in the printing, offering, or announcement of any prize or winners in relation to the entry and participation in the Contest by Entrant.

  14. ELIMINATION: Any false information provided within the context of the Contest by Entrant concerning identity, mailing address, email address, ownership of right or non-compliance with these Rules or the like may result in the immediate elimination of the entrant from the Contest.

  15. INTERNET AND DISCLAIMER: Jennifer Ann's Group is not responsible for any malfunction of the entire Contest Site or any late, lost, damaged, misdirected, incomplete, illegible, undeliverable, or destroyed entries due to system errors, failed, incomplete or garbled computer or other telecommunication transmission malfunctions, hardware or software failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, typographical, or system/human errors and failures, technical malfunction(s) of any telephone network or lines, cable connections, satellite transmissions, servers or providers, or computer equipment, traffic congestion on the Internet or at the Contest Site, or any combination thereof, including other telecommunication, cable, digital, or satellite malfunctions which may limit Entrant's/consumer's ability to participate/vote respectively. Jennifer Ann's Group is not responsible for the policies, actions, or inactions of others which might prevent Entrant from entering, participating, and/or claiming a prize in this Contest. Sponsor's failure to enforce any term of these Rules will not constitute a waiver of that or any other provision. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify Entrants who violate the rules or interfere with this Contest in any manner. If an Entrant is disqualified, Sponsor reserves the right to terminate that Entrant's eligibility to participate in the Contest.

  16. RIGHT TO CANCEL, MODIFY, OR DISQUALIFY: If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other causes which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of the Contest, Jennifer Ann's Group reserves the right at its sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify, or suspend the Contest. Jennifer Ann's Group further reserves the right to disqualify any Entrant who tampers with the submission process or any other part of the Contest or Contest Site. Any attempt by an Entrant to deliberately damage any web site, including the Contest Site, or undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest is a violation of criminal and civil laws and should such an attempt be made, Jennifer Ann's Group reserves the right to seek damages from any such Entrant to the fullest extent of the applicable law.

### End of Rules ###



Gaslight Game Design Challenge Registration

The deadline to register was March 31, 2019.

  • Follow the contest's Twitter account for the latest info:   Twitter