Domestic violence isn’t in any way a game, but it is important to use all kinds of ways to prompt discussion and thinking about the issues – and a new card ‘game’ aims to do just that. “Serious games” use the interactions and norms of games – from playing cards or board games to online gaming – to engage and inform in ways that other methods cannot.
Journeyscape or Journeybreak? is a card game about women and children’s journeys to escape domestic abuse. The game draws on the British Academy-funded research project “Women on the Move: the Journeyscapes of Domestic Violence” using examples of the pressure points women experience and the help or hindrance from people, policies, services and luck.
Relocation is only one possible strategy for women but tens of thousands of women and children relocate in the UK due to domestic abuse, often in multi-stage journeys over time and distance, and accessing a range of services and support. The game presents a simplified journey of multiple stages and stopping points, with the players gathering the points they need for the next stage, whilst also experiencing the ‘chance’ elements that can allow them to leap forward or fall back on their journey.
The examples of ‘chance’ – positive and negative – are taken from women’s accounts shared during the research, and the cards showcase women’s images from participatory photography groupwork carried out with Solace Women’s Aid. The cards are therefore an expression of women’s creativity and insights, and the game aims to highlight how journeys away from violence can be either stalled and thwarted by ‘journeybreaks’ or ‘journeyscaped’ by law, policy, services and support.
Journeyscape or Journeybreak? will be launched at the Social Research Association conference on 15th June 2023 in London. It is part of the “Please Do Touch” gallery – emphasising the importance of in-person interaction with each other and with material objects: the value of actually being able to touch…
Journeyscape or Journeybreak? is a game for 2-4 players and could be used by groups of professionals involved in responding to domestic abuse, as well as individuals who want to understand more about women and children’s journeys.