VilDu?! is a safe environment to experiment with intimacy and sexuality. It offers children a non-verbal communication tool that may help them to talk about fun, awful or tough experiences. De Rading is currently testing how the game can increase the conversation quality in therapy session for victims of sexual abuse.
In the summer of 2014 I flew with my good friends Tim, Menno, Frank and Marcel to Copenhagen to join the Lyst Game Summit jam. The theme was ‘love, sex and romance in videogames’ and we had challenged ourselves to create a game that would let sexually abused children learn to like sex again. The main reason for this idea was a very traumatic experience from Marcel his own childhood and the fact that Frank is a very experienced psychologist in the field of sexual abuse. From this starting point idea we brainstormed several concepts until we ended up on the basic agreement that a healthy sexual relation is based on well defined and mutually respected boundaries.
This realisation resulted in a game in which children could explore intimate or sexual relationship with someone in non-verbal ways and with a focus on boundary setting. The game resembles typical ‘dress-up games’. Two characters are positioned on an iPad, Players can perform various sexual actions to the other character, by dragging various icons over the character’s body. Both player hold an iPad, and can see the movement of the other player on their screen. In the center of the screen a prominent button says: TIME OUT!. When hit, the game freezes. In order to continue, the person who hit TIME OUT!, should agree to continue.
It’s a simple game, or maybe better, a playful tool that offers children the opportunity to express their feelings and tell their story in a non-verbal way. It resembles the reallife dolls that are sometimes used in therapy sessions, with a big exception: the focus on setting boundaries.
‘Vil Du?!’ won the Dutch Game Award for Best Serious Game 2017
Client: De Rading
Development: YipYip, Menno Deen
Currently in testing
Vil Du Slider
Related links & articles
YipYip project page
Article: Control Magazine
Article: Eurogamer about Lyst Summit
Article: Games [4Therapy] Project
Website: Lyst Summit Gamejam