Jennifer Ann’s Group continues to use the medium of video games to promote awareness on the dangers of teen dating violence. Today the nonprofit organization announced the winners of its seventh annual "Life. Love. Game Design Challenge" – as well as the results of its first-ever game jam to create a game that championed its cause of stopping teen violence.
99UNO's The Guardian took first place in the Life.Love. Game Design Challenge, and won $7,000. While Berkley State's Little Things won second place and $750. Anindya Mathur's "Break Free: Stop Dating Violence" took third place and won $250 (the game will be available soon for Android devices), while the team Martin Schneider and Lexi Schneider took fourth place and $100 for their web game, "By the Water Cooler." All of this year's winning games are available free at the aforementioned links or by visiting Jennifer Ann's Group.
"When we heard about the contest we felt it was a very important cause to participate," said 99Uno. "Our goal was to create an entertaining game in which people learn about TDV while they play. We believe videogames could be useful tools to help and warn people about this worldwide problem that is TDV."
This year's winners were selected by a panel of judges that included games journalist Leigh Alexander; Dr. Ian Bogost, Director of Graduate Program in Digital Media, Georgia Tech; Dr. Erica Bowen, Coventry University, Reader in the Psychology of Intimate Partner Violence; Simon Carless, EVP at UBM Tech overseeing GDC; Brian Crecente, News Editor, Polygon; Drew Crecente, Executive Director, Jennifer Ann’s Group; Dr. Jon A. Preston, Program Coordinator for Bachelor of Science in Computer Game Design and Development, Southern Polytechnic State University; Dr. Elizabeth Richeson, Psychologist, Chairperson of Advisory Board for Jennifer Ann’s Group; Joanna Sharpen, Project Coordinator for Children and Young People’s Project at AVA, London; and Elin Stebbins Waldal, Author and Speaker.
Jennifer Ann's Group also announced the winners of its first annual Summer Game Jam held jointly in Atlanta and Moscow over the weekend of June 20-22, 2014. The winning games were Support from a team in Atlanta, and "HackSpace" from Russia. Both are available for free at jagga.me.
For more information on all the great work that Jennifer Ann's Group does to promote awareness on and prevent teen dating violence, visit jenniferann.org. In case you didn't know, Jennifer Ann's Group was created by Drew Crecente to honor and remember his daughter Jennifer Ann Crecente, who was murdered by in 2006 by someone she dated and went to school with. The group's mission statement is to stamp out teen dating violence by giving teens and parents tools (knowledge) to recognize the early signs of an abusive relationship and to offer advice on how to get out of the situation.