Breakaway

Global Initiatives

PMC and the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College partnered in 2010 to produce BREAKAWAY, a video game and accompanying toolkit that addresses violence against women, gender inequality, and bullying available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.

Ready, Set, Play: Behavioral Change Gamification

BREAKAWAY is a video game and mobile phone application designed to address violence against women and girls and bullying in youth ages 8-15 years through digital football (soccer) gameplay. Originally developed by Population Media Center and Champlain College’s Emergent Media Center, with support from UNFPA, BREAKAWAY and its supplemental learning curriculum have successfully reached youth around the world, from El Salvador to South Africa since 2010.

Life Lessons & Football

The game starts when a new girl moves to town and joins the all-boy football team. Along the way, she faces escalating situations of gender inequality and harassment, which the players of the game must help her navigate to win football games. Through multiple-choice options, the player is challenged to make complex decisions on gender-based behaviors and violence — the choices made ultimately determine their performance in upcoming football games. This link between positive behavior and football game performance is key for social learning outcomes.

Get In The Game

A new, updated version of BREAKAWAY, with significant improvements to the mobile application and integrating a digital assessment tool, will launch in 2021.

In addition to the free mobile game, a premium and packaged facilitators guide is available to educators, coaches, and others.

Play BREAKAWAY: Users can play BREAKAWAY anywhere in the world online at BreakawayGame.com. The updated mobile game will be available on Android and Apple iOS in 2021.

BREAKAWAY Facilitator’s Guide: Intended for educators, coaches, and others who work with youth aged 8-15 in both school and non-school settings to navigate the game with the youth in a group environment allowing participants to reflect on their experiences of the game. The facilitator’s guide includes: Group physical activities, discussion questions, activity sheets ranging from word searches to creating rap lyrics to comic strips, and image call-outs that identify both positive and negative moments in the game related to the issues.

History of BREAKAWAY

BREAKAWAY Summer Camps began in June 2012, when a small international team of undergraduate students organized and conducted BREAKAWAY sessions at three youth summer camps in the city of Hebron in the West Bank. The BREAKAWAY  game, matched with the BREAKAWAY  Facilitator’s Guide and culturally appropriate activities developed by local facilitators, positively impacted over 300 children.

Building on the success of the first camp experience, Champlain College put together a team of students, faculty, staff, and college alumna and led the second BREAKAWAY camp in El Salvador in November 2013. The team conducted facilitator training and led camps for 60 children. Champlain College plans to return to El Salvador in December of 2014. If your organization is interested in partnering to host a BREAKAWAY Summer Camp or after-school program, contact Ann DeMarle at demarle@champlain.edu.


Making a Difference

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s “Unite to End Violence Against Women” campaign designates BREAKAWAY  as a key tool in the effort to end violence against women and girls.

BREAKAWAY has reached over 180 countries since its launch in 2010. Champlain College hosted two BREAKAWAY camps – one in Hebron, in the West Bank, and another in El Salvador. Research from the two 5-day youth camps held in El Salvador in 2013 showed that overall, the game and camp experience had a profound impact on participants on awareness, knowledge, attitude, skill building, and initiation of behavioral change regarding gender inequality and violence against women and girls. A team of researchers led by Hua Wang from the University of Buffalo found that the Salvadoran participants overall gave the camp experience a 4.9 rating out of 5.

BREAKAWAY game statistics from December 2011:

• Game had been played in 150 countries
• 2,292 registered users
• 1,132 (49%) users were 18 or under
• Gender of gamers: 704 (31%) female, 1,467 (64%) male, 121 (5%) chose not to answer
• 1,328 characters were created by players with saved data
• 1,175/1,328 (88%) characters have been saved with more positive decisions than negative decisions.

BREAKAWAY website statistics (Dates: June 20, 2010 – Oct 17, 2012)

• 21,128 Unique Visitors
• Visitors from 183 countries

90%

90% OF YOUTH IN A BREAKAWAY CAMP CORRECTLY IDENTIFY RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUE FOR CONFRONTING BULLYING, SEXISM, AND VIOLENT SITUATIONS.

(PMC Endline Data)

4.5

PLAYERS IN EL SALVADOR RATED THE OVERALL BREAKAWAY CAMP EXPERIENCE A 4.9 RATING OUT OF 5.

(PMC Endline Data)

87.7%

WHEN IN PLAY IN EL SALVADOR, 87.7% OF BREAKAWAY PARTICIPANTS “COMPLETELY AGREED” THAT GIRLS SHOULD HAVE EQUAL RIGHTS TO PLAY.

(PMC Endline Data)

Main Issues this Drama Addresses:

Rights of Women & Girls

All issues addressed by this drama:

Project Information

Title: BREAKAWAY
Format: Electronic Video Game
Location: Worldwide
Language: English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese
Duration: The first three episodes launched on June 22, 2010, the online game can be found here.

News Related to this Project:


Soccer Video Game Developed by College Students Proves to Reduce Violence Against Women and Girls

July 10, 2014 — PMC has pasted the text of this article here. See original post in Huffington Post. By Kayla Hedman During the... Keep reading.


Storylines


PMC BREAKAWAY Team

BREAKAWAY was a collaboration between PMC and the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College. BREAKAWAY built on the 2010 FIFA World Cup fever and required two years in development with on-the-ground research and pretesting in South Africa, Eastern Caribbean, and the United States. The game was created by a team of over 70 students at Champlain College’s Emergent Media Center, many of whom aren’t much older than the BREAKAWAY target audience. Students utilized entertainment-education strategies guided by PMC to develop the narrative. Avid gamers themselves, they designed BREAKAWAY to link the winning benefits of respect on the playing field to respectful behavior toward girls and women in the players’ relationships and social interactions.

Issues this storyline addresses:
Current World Population

7,877,086,250

Net Growth During Your Visit

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