None in Three(Ni3) - A Centre for the Development, Application, Research and Evaluation of Prosocial Games for the Prevention of Gender-based Violence

Lead Research Organisation: University of Huddersfield
Department Name: Sch of Human and Health Sciences

Abstract

VISION - To create a global research centre dedicated to research and serious gaming interventions designed to prioritise the rights of girls and women to live a life free from violence and to prevent violence against those most vulnerable (UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 5; UK Aid Strategy obj.4). The inter-disciplinary, cross-cultural, trans-continental research and partnership platform we will establish will result in a cadre of social scientists and game developers from four ODA-listed countries and the UK, skilled in the development of frontier technologies, advanced research methodologies and policy formulation focused on changing the social and cultural drivers of gender-based violence. This will be known as The DARE Centre: the Centre for the Development, Application, Research and Evaluation of Prosocial Games for the Prevention of Gender-based Violence.

International women rights agreements and domestic laws on gender-based violence (GBV) constitute an important step towards its prevention and elimination. However, there is an implementation gap between policy directives and what happens on the ground and unless people understand why regulations should be observed, they can be ineffective. Furthermore policy-led approaches do little to address the underlying cultural attitudes and values that drive GBV. Therefore, key to reducing violence against women and girls are innovative educational and social strategies which recognize the changing world we live within and challenge GBV related attitudes while they are being formed. Targeting children and youths seems crucial for transforming societies and creating a lasting change to the situation of women worldwide. Based on a unique partnership between institutions in the UK, China, Jamaica, Pakistan and Uganda, (the DARE countries) the Centre will build on the University of Huddersfield's existing domestic violence prevention project 'None in Three' (www.noneinthree.org), to expand the social/cultural impact of prosocial games for the prevention of GBV globally. As evidenced by a growing body of research, the development of game technologies has created new outlets for the perpetration of GBV. However, given the appeal of novel technologies to younger generations, technological advancements may also be utilised for prosocial purposes to empower victims and catalyze action against violence. In recent years, researchers and educators have become increasingly aware of the potential benefits of prosocial video games. Unlike other media, video games scaffold children's experience using narrative and audio-visual content, as well as rules and objectives regulating players' behaviour. A recent meta-analytic study revealed a significant association between playing a prosocial video game and positive social outcomes (Greitemeyer & Mügge, 2014). Violent video games, in turn, lead to a bias in the perception of what counts as aggressive, which evokes aggressive behaviour. Importantly, appropriately designed prosocial video games can enhance moral reasoning and foster empathy in a way that the mere presentation of facts through other media outlets cannot accomplish. Empathy reduces aggression and leads to prosocial actions, which strengthen social bonds and integrates societies. Indicative areas of work for the DARE Centre include: China - promoting a culture of protection against sexual abuse and prevention of trafficking; Jamaica - challenging the commoditization of sex and its relationship to the commercial sexual exploitation of children and promoting a culture of personal accountability among men and boys; Pakistan-improving child protection systems in relation to child marriage and honour killings, Uganda-domestic violence, the prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation and child marriage and, the UK-interpersonal violence within adolescent relationships. These activities all seek to prevent gender based violence and elevate the status of women and girls.

Planned Impact

Academic impact - knowledge production, researcher development and inter-disciplinary collaboration
1. training researchers in the most advanced qualitative and quantitative social sciences research and analytic methods for GBV research;
2. conducting original research into socio-cultural drivers and aetiology of particular forms of GBV in contributing countries;
3. producing psychosocial profiles of attitudes to GBV among children and young people in the five DARE countries;
4. archiving datasets for wider access;
5. producing high quality open access journal articles including inter-disciplinary co-authored outputs (social work, psychology, criminology, digital games, education);
6. incorporation of research findings into university courses (evidence-based practice courses);
7. equipping early career researchers with skills in research leadership;
8. improving career prospects for early career researchers.

Policy impact
1. training on policy evaluation, analysis and formulation
2. working with governments to craft model policies that interweave GBV with prevention through education and technological advancement and crucially, to align with country strategic plans on the achievement of SDGs
3. building implementation science in the respective countries by equipping researchers with skills in robust evaluation and knowledge translation methods (e.g. the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research - CFIR, a comprehensive, meta-theoretical approach to project evaluation).

Professional/multi-disciplinary impact
1. training on research outcomes for professionals (teachers, school guidance officers, social workers, psychologists, magistry, health workers)
2. use of computer games as a tool in professional development
3. practice-based briefings, publications in professional magazines, professional conferences
4. legacy tools: computer games for ongoing use in GBV prevention education, survey instruments and trained analysts in psycho-social profiling of attitudes among young people to GBV
5. enhancing research and practice skills in identifying and responding to different forms of GBV
6. new knowledge on the attitudes of children and young people to GBV

Societal/community/family impact
1. computer games as a tool to be used in education settings with children and young people to: increase empathy, non-adversarial conflict resolution skills, challenge gender stereotypes, raise awareness about women's rights, empower victims, counter cultural values which contribute to GBV, foster cultures of accountability rather than victim blaming and to build emotional intelligence
2. utilising the computer games as an aid to rehabilitation programmes for persons convicted of GBV crimes;
3. establishing The IDEA, a media hub of Impact, Dissemination and Engagement Activities to engage multiple audiences using multiple methods and wide-reaching social media
4. implementing a series of awareness-raising events for community groups and producing sensitisation films on GBV and the need for family and community engagement in supporting behaviour change
5. training GBV civil society organisations in creating their own strategies for engaging the public in discussions that promote and facilitate shifts in thinking
6. training for media technicians in the production of public engagement films
7. engagement of faith-based and civil society organisations;
8. general public/parent meetings focusing on raising awareness and development of shared responsibility for GBV prevention
9. encouraging help-seeking behaviours from victims and perpetrators of GBV
10. the wider adoption of anti-violence computer games and resultant changes in attitudes and reduction of GBV measured through the application of robust pre-post game exposure surveys

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Global Challenges Research Fund
Amount £4,003,000 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/P014240/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 12/2021
 
Description Ni3 partners 
Organisation Indian Institute Of Art and Design
PI Contribution Conducting research in India
Collaborator Contribution Implementation of 7 work packages in India
Impact Too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Ni3 partners 
Organisation Makerere University
Country Uganda 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Formal partners for conducting the research in Uganda
Collaborator Contribution Implementation of 7 work packages
Impact Too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Ni3 partners 
Organisation Ningbo University
Country China 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Formal partner for the implementation of the project in China
Collaborator Contribution Implementation of 7 work packages
Impact To early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Ni3 partners 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Providing guidance and support
Collaborator Contribution Collating global policy on gender-based violence
Impact Too early
Start Year 2017
 
Description Ni3 partners 
Organisation University of Technology, Jamaica
PI Contribution Conducting research in Jamaica
Collaborator Contribution Implementation of 7 work packages in Uganda
Impact Too early
Start Year 2017