PR:EPARe: A game-based approach to relationship guidance for adolescents.

Samantha Clarke, Sylvester Arnab, Ian Dunwell, Katherine Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Ensuring adolescents are equipped with the necessary skills to handle coercion and pressure from peers is a central component of effective relationship education. However, for teachers attempting to convey these principles, didactic methods have been shown to meet with limited success, as the highest-risk students may fail to engage with the subject matter in a meaningful fashion. In this paper, the potential a digital game may hold as a component of a blended learning solution to this problem is explored though the development of PR:EPARe (Positive Relationships: Eliminating Coercion and Pressure in Adolescent Relationships). Adopting a participatory design approach, designers considered relevant input from stakeholders, subject experts, teachers and students in the development of PR:EPARe. Participatory involvement has allowed the game to be developed in such a way that draws focus on the role of the end user to extend from the traditional concern of the student's learning needs to consider that of the practitioner's needs as another primary condition of successful game based learning. An examination of the first section of the PR:EPARe game is undertaken through a cluster randomized control trial of 507 students across three UK schools. Using ANOVA to demonstrating significant differences between control and game groups (p<0.05) for responses to a range of questions on preparedness and self-efficacy. An overall significant positive effect of the game over time when compared to the control (p<0.001) is observed. Based on these preliminary findings, the participatory approach to development is shown to lead to a developed game which is well- received by students, offering the potential to provide a valuable resource for teachers attempting to address this difficult subject within a classroom-based context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalProcedia Computer Science
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Dec 2012
Event4th International Conference on Games and Virtual Worlds for Serious Applications, VS-GAMES 2012 - Genoa, Italy
Duration: 29 Oct 201231 Oct 2012


  • Blended learning
  • Game-based intervention
  • Participatory design
  • Relationship education
  • Serious games


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