In many cases sexual harassment can go unreported or unacknowledged due to a lack of education in what exactly constitutes sexual harassment. Even though all workplaces employing 50 or more people in the state of California require their workers to undergo mandatory sexual harassment training programs, most of these are dull, drawn out, and exaggerated, often to the point of being unrealistic. This causes employees and employers to be less interested in and serious about the material provided.So in order to reduce the frequency of sexual harassment instances, increase employee enthusiasm for training, and promote better comprehensive workplace education, our team has decided to create an educational role playing game that fulfills sexual harassment training requirements.
What it does
Our game is centered around a new employee (our protagonist) and their first day at a new job. Upon entering the office, it is at once clear that sexual harassment protocol have not been followed since no DFEH-162 poster is clearly visible in the office. Throughout the rest of the game, he/she encounters various scenarios, some of which involve sexual harassment, and must decide the correct course of action to raise his/her 'Office Wisdom'. The main task of the game is to retrieve coffee for a coworker in the kitchen, which requires a certain amount of Office Wisdom to enter, and in the process help fellow coworkers resolve a broad spectrum of realistic sexual harassment scenarios. Our game uses a certain amount of humor to make it fun and funny, but the sexual harassment scenarios are actual realistic examples that could occur in most workplaces. We hope that by the time an employee has completed the game, they will have both gained a better understanding of both subtle and blatant sexual harassment scenarios in various environments as well as enjoyed the learning experience to some degree.
How I built it
We built the bulk of our game in the Gamemaker Studio game development environment, using mainly our own designed graphics and mechanics.
Challenges I ran into
Since none of this team had any background in game design, we each had to learn a completely new development environment and process.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Creating a game of this caliber completely from scratch (aside from our development environment).
What I learned
How to use Gamemaker Studio to build a game and quite a bit about sexual harassment issues in many workplaces.
What's next for Sexual Harassment Education: Day One
We hope that our game will be able to reach a large number of employers in a variety of fields and that we can continue to develop it to keep it relevant and add new levels with new scenarios and mechanics.