Let’s all play the abstinence game!

Researchers develop a video simulation to teach girls how to resist sex

Topics: Abstinence, Broadsheet, Sex, Sex Education, Love and Sex,

Let's all play the abstinence game!A screenshot of the video game in development by the University of Central Florida

God, I love local newscasts. I happened to stumble across a report from My FOX Orlando about the development of a “simulation and digital puppetry” video game “aimed at helping to teach pre-teen girls how to resist peer pressure when it comes to sex” — and, let me tell you, the corniness of both the game and the video dispatch below made my morning.

The setup is elaborate: Girl gamers wear a motion-capture suit to enter a virtual world with real-life scenarios and life-size avatars. Lead researcher Anne Norris explains: “A boy similar in age might approach the person playing the game and ask her to make out or there might be some sexual innuendo.” (Cue the newscaster’s overwrought exclamation: “Wow, sounds risque!”)  Norris explains that “it’s a place to practice where there aren’t any social consequences.”

That’s right — the only real-life consequence of the game is that it cost tax payers $434,000. Well, and there’s the ineffectiveness of abstinence-only education. Here’s hoping this  effort is balanced out with comprehensive sex education — something Florida hasn’t been known for in the past.



Tracy Clark-Flory

Tracy Clark-Flory is a staff writer at Salon. Follow @tracyclarkflory on Twitter and Facebook.

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