Serious game for relationships and sex education (RSE): Promoting discourse on pressure and coercion in adolescent relationships

Sylvester Arnab, Katherine Brown, Samantha Clarke, Becky Judd, Alison Baxter, Richard King, Puja Joshi, Katie Newby, Julie Bayley

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Pressure and coercion in adolescence relationship can lead to adverse psychological and physical health outcomes. Eliminating coercive sexual experiences for young people is one of the aims of delivering good quality Relationships and Sex Education (RSE). Engaging young people on sensitive subjects can however be challenging, and using interactive technology such as games may provide a more conducive platform for educators and young people within a classroom setting. This paper describes the on-going development and evaluation of a serious game (SG) to raise awareness on experiences of sexual coercion. This involves an iterative process that draws on stakeholder engagement and the theory and evidence base for what works, to support health improvement intervention planning. SG developers took the game concept plan and transformed it into an interactive game show, led by a teacher or facilitator to engage students in game play and discussion around the issue of sexual coercion. The final product known as PR:EPARe (Positive Relationships: Eliminating Coercion and Pressure in Adolescent Relationships) is currently the subject of a cluster Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) in local schools. Early data analysis shows that the learners are engaged with the game with potential contribution to psychological preparedness to deal with sexual coercion. This work represents the first attempt to use of Serious Gaming for RSE delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th European Conference on Games Based Learning ECGBL 2012
PublisherAcademic Conferences Ltd.
ISBN (Print)9781627480680
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012
Event6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2012 - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 4 Oct 20125 Oct 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings of the European Conference on Games-based Learning
ISSN (Print)2049-0992


Conference6th European Conference on Games Based Learning, ECGBL 2012


  • Adolescents
  • Intervention mapping
  • Relationships sex education
  • Serious game
  • Sexual coercion


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