Jennifer Ann's Group logo

2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge

Presenting the winning video games for preventing teen dating violence

The Guardian

Little Things

Break Free

By the Watercooler

In 2008 Jennifer Ann's Group launched the Life.Love. Game Design Challenge and has run the contest every year since. The contest commences every February to coincide with the National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month and is the largest event of its kind using video games to prevent violence. Winning games have come from Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Mexico, Thailand, and the United States of America.

2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge Sponsors

Organizational Sponsor

Helen of Troy

Executive Producer

Child's Play

2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge Rules

Frequently asked questions and official rules for Jennifer Ann's Group's annual video game design competition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the important dates for the video game design contest?

  • Contest begins: February 18, 2014
  • Entry deadline: June 1, 2014.
  • Winners announced: June 2014.
  • The winning video games are available at:

Who is eligible to compete?

  • At the time of entry you must be 13 years of age or older (void where prohibited).
  • Officers, employees, and immediate family members of Jennifer Ann's Group are prohibited from entering the video game design contest.

What technical requirements are there for the game?

  • All games must be designed to run on HTML5, Unity Web Player, Android 4.x, iOS 6.x/7.x, or Adobe Flash 10.0+.
  • Games must be fully functional at time of entry.
Development platform icons for 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge.

How do I enter?

  • Sign up through our online registration form below
  • TIP: Follow Jennifer Ann's Group's Google+ page for up-to-date information about the contest.
  • After registering, all entrants will receive a 400 x 200 image identifying Jennifer Ann's Group as the sponsor of the contest. This image must be placed on the game entry's splash screen with a link to Jennifer Ann's Group online video game page. (
  • Create a video showing your game in action! Video must be 30 to 90 seconds in length. Details will be sent upon contest registration.

Can I enter more than once?

  • Sorry, but no. Make sure and enter your best game because you only get one chance to enter each year!

What are the Prizes?

  • First Place: $7,000
  • Second Place: $700
  • Third Place: $250
  • Door Prize (selected at random from the eligible non-winning entries): $100

What criteria will be used for judging?

  • All games will be reviewed to ensure that they meet all contest requirements.
  • TIP:Remember, the game must not include any on-screen violence!
  • Three (3) winning entries will then be chosen based on the following weighted scoring criteria and One (1) entry will be randomly drawn from the remaining non-winning entries to receive the door prize.
Love in the Dumpster, a serious game about teen dating violence.1st Place, 2013, "Love in the Dumpster" from Jean HEHN, Belgium

Scoring Criteria

Examples of Educational Value include:
  • How effective is the game at increasing awareness about dating violence?
  • Does the game communicate the prevalence of dating violence among non-married 11 through 24 year olds?
  • Are there examples of potentially abusive behavior?
  • Does the game suggest safety plans?
  • How effective is the game at demonstrating how best to offer advice to friends and family contending with dating violence?
  • Playability (20%)
  • Innovative approach to game play design (20%)
  • Graphics and music (10%)
  • Re-Playability (5%)
  • Intuitive gameplay (5%)

  • Interactive use of device sensors (up to 5%)
  • For example:
    • Tilt sensor, Camera, Microphone
  • Use of realtime external data (up to 5%)
  • For example:
    • Step One: The location of the player is determined via GPS or IP geolocation.
    • Step Two: An online source is queried to determine weather conditions based on location.
    • Step Three: Gameplay is affected by the current local weather.

Note: In the event of a tie the game with the higher Educational Value will win.

Who are the judges for this year's contest?

2014 judges

Photo of Leigh Alexander, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group.

Leigh Alexander

Photo of Dr. Ian Bogost, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group.

Dr. Ian Bogost

Photo of Dr. Erica Bowen, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group.

Dr. Erica Bowen

Photo of Simon Carless, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group.

Simon Carless

Photo of Brian Crecente, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group.

Brian Crecente

Photo of Drew Crecente, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group. He is shown here with his daughter Jennifer Ann Crecente.

Drew Crecente, JD

Photo of Dr. Jon Preston, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group.

Dr. Jon A. Preston

Photo of Dr. Elizabeth L. Richeson, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge by Jennifer Ann's Group

Dr. Elizabeth L. Richeson

Photo of Jo Sharpen, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group

Joanna Sharpen

Photo of Elin Stebbbins Waldal, judge for the 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge presented by Jennifer Ann's Group

Elin Stebbins Waldal

Where can I learn more about teen dating violence?

Information including online resources is available in our TDV section below.

Official Rules

  1. All entrants must be 13 years of age (or older) at the time of entry.
  2. Entries can only contain graphics or audio that the entrants have rights to use (e.g. works in the public domain; original creation by the entrant; rights granted by the rights owner).
  3. Entries cannot contain on-screen violent content or have a pervasive theme of violence and should be age-appropriate for ages 13 and up.
  4. Entries must be functionally error-free and ready to run "as-is."
  5. Entries cannot include branding for third-party organizations (text acknowledgements are acceptable). Jennifer Ann's Group will supply a 400x200 image that identifies them as the sponsor - this image will be placed on the entry's splash screen.
  6. Entries must be playable with HTML5, Unity Web Player, Android 4.x, iOS 6.x/7.x, or Adobe Flash 10.0+.
  7. Entries must include a separate 30-90 second video showing actual gameplay of the entry.
  8. Jennifer Ann's Group and any other entity associated with this contest are not responsible for any lost or misdirected entries. All entries must be received by June 1, 2014 at 11:59PM (GMT-4).
  9. As a condition of receiving their prize, winning entrants must grant Jennifer Ann's Group the non-exclusive, royalty-free, licensable, non-assignable rights to the: compiled, object, and source code; necessary media files; and associated intellectual property rights of their entry for republishing, promotion, and internal use.
  10. Winning entrants also agree to electronically provide all of the assets necessary to facilitate Jennifer Ann’s Group’s rights to publish, promote, and utilize their entry in any format and on any platform currently known or yet to be invented in order to promote the awareness of and prevent Teen Dating Violence worldwide.
  11. Entrants also give their consent to Jennifer Ann’s Group and to those whom Jennifer Ann’s Group may authorize, to photograph, film, videotape, and/or to use a photographic/digital reproduction of their 2014 Life.Love. Game Design Challenge entry with or without their name, to identify them by name, and/or to quote or record statements made by them, for any editorial, promotional, marketing, or other purpose related to the mission of Jennifer Ann's Group (“the prevention of Teen Dating Violence through Awareness, Education, and Advocacy”). This consent does not extend to the purposes of endorsement of product or service advertising for any unrelated third parties.

Winner Selection

  1. Finalists will be chosen by the Selection Committee that will be comprised of a group of Video Game experts and Teen Dating Violence experts.
  2. Finalist selection will be based on the scoring criteria as set forth in the Scoring Criteria section.
  3. Of the three finalists, one will be chosen by the Selection Committee as the First Place Prize Winner; one will be chosen as the Second Place Prize Winner; and one will be chosen as the Third Place Prize Winner.
  4. A "door prize" winner will then be randomly selected from those entries not chosen as winning entries.

Janie's Sketchbook, a video game about teen dating violence.2nd Place, 2013, "Janie's Sketchbook" from GPTouch, Thailand

Scoring Criteria

  • Playability (20%)
  • Innovative approach to game play design (20%)
  • Graphics and music (10%)
  • Re-Playability (5%)
  • Intuitive gameplay (5%)
  • Interactive use of device sensors (up to 5%)
  • Use of realtime external data (up to 5%)
Note: In the event of a tie the game with the higher Educational Value will win.


  • The First Place Winner will receive $7,000 ("First Place Prize").
  • The Second Place Winner will receive $700 ("Second Place Prize").
  • The Third Place Winner will receive $250 ("Third Place Prize").
  • The "door prize" winner will receive the prize of $100.
  • Note:Entrants are responsible for any federal, state, and local tax consequences and for compliance with all governmental reporting and payment requirements.

    Note:Winning funds will be sent in U.S. Dollars via cashier's check or via PayPal (at the option of the winners); please note that winners will be responsible for any fees assessed by PayPal if they prefer to receive their winnings via PayPal (there is no cost associated with receiving winnings via cashier's check).

General Rules

  1. Prize winners will be required to sign and complete an Affidavit of Eligibility and a Liability and Publicity Release (where legally permissible) and return the signed documents within ten (10) days of receipt of attempted delivery, otherwise the Entrant may be forfeited and the Entrant with the next highest score will be selected.
  2. In the event that a prize winner is under the age of 18, a parent or guardian will instead have to sign the Affidavit of Eligibility and the Liability and Publicity Release (where legally permissible).
  3. The prize winners will also electronically provide all source files and components necessary to re-create the winning game on another platform if Jennifer Ann's Group so decides.
  4. Additionally, the prize winners give Jennifer Ann's Group the right to the Entrant's name, voice, picture, portrait and likeness for advertising and promotion purposes without further compensation, where permitted by law.
  5. These Official Rules and all matters related to the Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Georgia U.S.A., without regard to its conflict of laws principles.

Limitation of liability

  1. The organization and its directors, officers, shareholders, employees, advertising and promotion agencies involved in this contest shall have no liability and shall be held harmless by entrant, and any team members of entrant, for any damage, loss, or liability to person or property, due in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, by reason of entering the contest, the acceptance, possession, use, or misuse of any prize, or while preparing for, participating in, and/or, traveling to and from any contest-related activity.
  2. Any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event, attorney's fees. Jennifer Ann's Group and its promotion and advertising agencies are not responsible for technical, hardware, software or telephone failures of any kind, lost or unavailable network connections, fraud, incomplete, garbled or delayed computer transmissions, whether caused by Jennifer Ann's Group, users or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Contest.


  1. If for any reason the Contest is not capable of running as planned, including infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical failures, or any other cause beyond the control of Jennifer Ann's Group that corrupts, impairs or affects the administration, security, fairness, integrity, or proper conduct of this Contest, Jennifer Ann's Group reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify, extend or suspend the Contest and/or prizes.
  2. Jennifer Ann's Group reserves the right to disqualify any individual who tampers with or in any way corrupts the entry process. Jennifer Ann's Group may prohibit an Entrant from participating in the Contest or winning a prize if, in Jennifer Ann's Group's sole discretion, they determine that said Entrant is attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Contest by cheating, hacking, deception, or other unfair practices or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other entrants or Jennifer Ann's Group's representatives.


TDV: Teen Dating Violence

Statistics, citations, and online resources for more information about dating violence.

44% of all college students will have been in an abusive relationship by the time they graduate from college.

Teen Dating Violence Statistics

  • Forty-four percent of college graduates have been in an abusive relationship. 1
  • Teen dating violence is related to health problems in adulthood. 2
  • In the U.S. alone almost 1.5 million high school students are physically abused by a dating partner every year. 3
  • Nearly 40% of male and female adolescents have been physically or sexually abused by a dating partner. 4
  • More than 1/3 of women and 1/4 of men experience rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner. 5
  • Teenage females who experience dating violence are 4x - 6x more likely to become pregnant. 6
  • Teens who have been in abusive relationships are more likely to feel hopeless and attempt suicide. 7
  • Adolescents who have experienced dating violence are more likely to experience violent relationships as an adult. 8
  • Teenagers in abusive dating relationships are more likely to smoke, binge drink, and use drugs. 9


1. Forke CM, Myers RK, Catallozzi M, Schwarz DF. Relationship Violence Among Female and Male College Undergraduate Students. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2008;162(7):634-641.
2. Exner-Cortens, D.; Eckenrode, J.; & Rothman, E. (2013). Longitudinal associations between teen dating violence victimization and adverse health outcomes. Pediatrics, 131(1), 71-78.
3. Love is Respect //
4. Halpern, et al. Patterns of Intimate Partner Violence Victimization from Adolescence to Young Adulthood in a Nationally Representative Sample Journal of Adolescent Health. (2009); 45(5): 508–516.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey
6. Silverman, J., Raj, A., Mucci, L., & Hathaway, J. (2001). Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Abuse, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality. Journal of the American Medical Association. 286(5): p. 572-279.
7. Howard, Yang, & Fan, 2009; CDC, 2005.
8. Smith et al., 2002; CDC, 2005.
9. Silverman, Raj, Mucci, & Hathaway, 2001.

Winning Games from the Life.Love. Game Design Challenge: Critiques & Postmortems

Screenshot of Jellia's Friends by Rachel Ponce

Postmortem: 6 things I did wrong in my game, Jellia's Friends

Since 2008, the organization Jennifer Ann's Group has sponsored an annual Flash game development contest in an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of teen dating violence. In 2010, intrigued by the challenge of making an educational game and happy to do something to support a cause like preventing dating violence among teens, I submitted an entry called Jellia's Friends. Now, over a year later, I wanted to revisit this project, not because it really deserves attention as an especially high quality educational game (it's not), but rather because I want to reflect on what I learned from my first attempt at making an educational game.
read the full article at brainsforgames|gamesforbrains

Screenshot of YourSpace by Paul McGee, Sam Gross, Lyndsey Moulds, Ross McWilliam, and kayfaraday

Games About Dating Violence: Why Less Conversation in Games Might Create a Better Dialogue

A few months ago, I helped write some dialogue for a game called YourSpace (with Paul Andrew McGee, Sam Gross, Ross McWilliam, and kayfaraday). The game was created for the Life.Love. Game Design Challenge held yearly by The Jennifer Ann Crecente Memorial Group, and was designed to address the issue of teen dating violence. Our game was a dialogue-heavy interactive story, with branching paths inspired by hypertext fiction. All of the game’s interaction happens within the context of a fictitious social network. While I was pleased with the final project (which placed third), I’ve been thinking lately about the way we tend to explore issues like dating violence when approaching development from a “serious games” angle.
read the full article at


Design ~ develop ~ create . . .

The rest is up to you!

Tip:If you haven't played any of the winning games from past contests it might help to play them.
In addition to the games on this screen we also have these past contest winners.


You have until June 1, 2014 to submit your game!

Recent TDV News

Games for Health Journal
May, 2014

Gaming Against Violence: A Grassroots Approach

Teen dating violence is a pervasive problem that affects millions of adolescents worldwide. Although there have been various approaches to addressing this problem, using videogames had not been employed before 2008, when Jennifer Ann's Group, an Atlanta, GA–based nonprofit organization, created an annual competition. The Life.Love. Game Design Challenge rewards game developers for creating videogames about teen dating violence without using any violence in the games themselves. The resulting videogames have increased awareness about teen dating violence and provided educational information to assist adolescents, parents, and teachers in identifying abusive relationships.
Read the full article at Games for Health Journal

2014 Trailblazer Award
February, 2014

Top 10 Trailblazers

Across the country there is exciting and innovative work being done to address teen dating abuse! This summer, our National Youth Advisory Board sifted through dozens of nominations and selected the top 10 Trailblazers. These Trailblazers are programs our NYAB found to resonate with youth experiences of relationships and were innovative in their approach, outreach, or youth activism. Each week of TDVAM we will feature programs that deserve recognition for this work, and encourage you to share these ideas with your own organizations or local activists. This spring, submit your local program on Break the Cycle’s website for our National Youth Advisory Board’s selection of a second year of Trailblazers!
Read the full article at Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month from Break the Cycle

November, 2013

Call of Moral Duty - Making Games for Change

We've been making newsgames with the aim of engaging people with real world issues such as the war in Syria and the War on Drugs in Mexico. But games have become a diverse tool that is impacting on more that just the political arena - they are also going for the personal too. Into this interesting space comes 'Love in the Dumpster' - a game billed as a 'serious game about teen dating violence'. This unusually titled game comes from a design challenge asking games developers; "Can you design a game about Teen Dating Violence without using violence itself?"
Read the full article at The Huffington Post

July, 2013

Games shine light on Teen Dating Violence

The sixth annual Life. Love. Game Design Challenge, aimed at increasing awareness of teen dating violence, has announced its winning entries. Overall winner is Love in the Dumpster by Jean Hehn of Belgium, followed by Janie's Sketchbook by Guts Rodsavas and Piti Yindee of GPTouch in Thailand. In third place is YourSpace by Paul McGee, Sam Gross, Lyndsey Moulds, Ross McWilliam and Kayfaraday in Ireland followed by What Kind of Monster is your Boyfriend? by 99Uno in Argentina.
Read the full article at Polygon

February, 2013

A Spark for Games to Stop Teen Dating Violence

Earlier this year it was announced that for work done by Games for Health Project co-founder, Ben Sawyer, in serious games and games for health that he will be a SxSW Dewey Award Winner. The award is given to 10 people each year by SxSW Interactive as a memory to one of the original organizers of the event, Dewey Winburne. It is used to honor people who have used technology to try and improve the lives of others. As part of the award which he will receive on Sunday March 10 in Austin SxSW is donating $1000.00 to the charity of his choice. The decision is to donate the funds to Jennifer Ann’s Group.
Read the full article at Games for Health

Spotlight on TDV

The use of Technology in Abusive Relationships

According to a 2009 study by the CDC, 10% of teens report having been physically abused within the past year by a dating partner. By the time students have graduated from college 44% of them will have been in an abusive relationship.

Technology is often leveraged against people in abusive relationships and because teenagers and college students are heavy users of technology they are disproportionately affected by these abusive practices. According to a 2007 study 67% of teens own cell phones, 93% use the internet, and nearly half visit social networking sites daily . . .