A graduate student in Edmonton has developed a new video game that aims to teach bar staff how to intervene in situations to prevent sexual assaults.
Kenzie Gordon, from the University of Alberta, created “It’s Your Move,” which she said may be the first-ever game teaching bystander intervention.
The tablet-based game takes players through different scenarios, with each choice they make leading down a different path.
For example, the player may be told: “Your coworker Marcus has come up to you and there's a regular at the bar, Rachel, who harasses him all the time and he's asking you what he should do.”
The player must then choose between three options: “Well Marcus, you’ve always had a way with the ladies,” “Do you want me to get Jamie to kick her out?” and “Let me know if I can help you out.”
Stephanie Olsen, who works for the Sexual Assault Centre of Edmonton, said the game comes at a time when sexual violence educators are seeing “a huge increase in demand” for training.
Olsen said the role-playing scenarios currently used to teach bystander intervention can be “very awkward,” so the game really helps.
Jesse Kupina, co-owner of Edmonton bars The Ranch and Central Social Hall, was among of the first to test it out with his staff.
Kupina said the game shows “all these points where friends could have stepped in, the bartender could have stepped in, security, patrons,” to prevent sexual assault.
Kupina said that his staff has done sexual assault training in the past and that the role-playing component was “super tough.”
With role-playing, “they’re nervous, (they’re) not really doing it,” Kupina said.
With the video game, “everybody has to do it,” he said. “We really liked it.”
Another approach to sexual violence in bars was developed last year by students in Quebec.
Called “Order an Angelot,” the campaign encourages bar patrons who feel threatened to discretely ask for help from a bartender by ordering a non-existent drink called an “Angelot.”
With a report from CTV Edmonton’s Nicole Weisberg and files from CTV Montreal