The Life Love Game Design Challenge named its winners today. The Flash game design challenge sponsored by Jennifer Ann's Group asked developers to come up with games about teen dating violence prevention without using violent content or a violent theme.
The $1,000 winning design "Escape Your Boyfriend's Room" by Jorge Goyco is an interesting point and click game that manages to get both the warning signs of an abusive relationship across as well as how you can get yourself out of the relationship. I loved the look of the game and its approach to the subject matter really impressed me.
The first runner up $100 prize was handed out to "A Walk in the Park by Jared Sain." I loved the look of the game. My only suggestion is that maybe the game could do a better job of explaining how to get out of an abusive relationship. The final $100 runner-up was "Decisions, Decisions by Mark Kakareka"
Judges for the contest were my brother, Drew Crecente; Simon Carless, director of the Independent Games Festival; Stephen Totilo, of MTV and huge brain fame, Georgia Tech prof Ian Bogost and Dr. Elizabeth Richeson, a psychologist, Texas Psychological Association Board member, and my mom.
The winning entries were quite innovative, but more importantly I think this particular contest reiterates the mantra that video games can deal with important and delicate issues appropriately.
My understanding is that Drew plans to run the contest again next year. I hope it has just as many good entries. Hit up the site to check out the winners.