[Here's an interview by our own Leigh Alexander with Drew Crecente on the very worthy Jennifer Ann's Group, which just announced its competition winners for this year's 'serious games' contest on teen dating violence.]
A unique game design competition aimed at teen violence prevention has announced its winners, revealing that Grace's Diary is taking home the top prize.
The annual contest is sponsored by Jennifer Ann's Group, a non-profit organization focused on teen violence education and prevention since its founding in 2006. The game design competition, the "Life. Love. Game Design Contest," challenges entrants to design a game about the issue -- without using violence itself.
This year's competition saw 12 entrants, and it was Bangkok-based Hima's Grace's Diary, an animated interactive story-format title with beautiful watercolor pencil art, that took home the $2500 grand prize.
In second place was Thomas Liu's A Decision Of Paramount Importance, a sidescrolling and well-animated pixel adventure game, and in third, Batty Media's Jellia's Friends, a cute action title starring cartoon jellybeans. Both the second and third prize winners receive a $100 prize.
Judges included Judges included Dr. Ian Bogost (Co-Founder, Persuasive Games), Simon Carless (former IGF chairman and publisher of this website), Brian Crecente (Managing Editor, Kotaku), Dr. Elizabeth Richeson (Advisory Board Director, Jennifer Ann's Group), and me, Leigh Alexander, news director of Gamasutra.
I found the opportunity to be a judge both educational and touching, and decided to speak to Drew Crecente, founder of Jennifer Ann's Group, to learn more about the group's goals with the contest and the use of game design in social issues: