Culture Overlord: A New Video Game Released That Explores Media’s Impact

Pixel images of the logo for Culture Overlord and the main character Dan. Text at the top: "What should you make Dan do today?" with "should" crossed out and replaced with "will". Below, is an image of award laurels with "2020 Life.Love. Game Design Chall

Culture Overlord: What will you make Dan do today?

Players select between Discovery and EDU modes in the video game Culture Overlord.

Players select between story and educational modes in Culture Overlord

Pixelated screen describing an available book for Dan to read in class. The currently selected book is 'Castle Rock' and the description reads: "Depicts schoolchildren stranded on a deserted island without adults. Explores the tension between rational thi

Players select the media items Dan is exposed to in Culture Overlord

Culture Overlord is a free video game designed to encourage media literacy among young people, especially regarding healthy dating relationships.

The topic of culture and its influence on our daily lives is complex and important. I hope my game manages to effectively introduce players to the subject.”

— Lucas Vially

BROOKHAVEN, GA, USA, December 30, 2020 / — Culture Overlord, the winning video game from the 13th annual Life. Love. Design Challenge is now available. In Culture Overlord players get to control high school student Dan as he deals with love, friendship, and school but not in the usual way. Instead of directly controlling Dan’s actions players will select the advertisements, tv shows, books, and more to which Dan is exposed. It is Dan’s response to these media items that determine the trajectory of Dan’s story through the game.

Culture Overlord is a lighthearted look at the role and impact that websites, music, and other popular cultural artifacts can have on young people, especially regarding their attitudes and beliefs about dating relationships. As the Culture Overlord, the player is presented with a series of options from which to select. What book will Dan read in school? What song is Dan listening to as he walks home? What website has Dan been frequenting lately?

These decisions then determine the actions taken by the very impressionable Dan.

Culture Overlord has two modes and it is suggested that players first play the Discovery Mode in order to explore Dan’s story with little interruption. Afterwards it is suggested that players then play the EDU Mode in order to better understand the impact that these different forms of media has on Dan. EDU Mode includes helpful information as well as relevant open-ended questions intended to encourage thoughtful discussions. By playing several times game players will quickly be able to see how the things in Dan’s life are influencing him and the impact of those influences.

Culture Overlord is an international video game that has been designed, developed, reviewed, and published during COVID-19. The game was designed in France at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. It was reviewed and tested in the Netherlands, U.K., and the U.S. in July 2020 and then revised, tested, and published at the headquarters of Jennifer Ann’s Group in Brookhaven, Georgia in the U.S.

Jennifer Ann’s Group, a nonprofit organization working to prevent teen dating violence, is headquartered in Brookhaven and is run from the home of its founder and executive director, Drew Crecente. According to Drew: “This video game encourages players to explore, examine, and evaluate the role one’s culture can play in forming their attitudes regarding dating and healthy relationships. By allowing game players to safely explore these issues through an interactive video game they are more likely to remain open to the concepts presented.”

Research has shown that one of the most difficult things for teenagers to do is to seek or accept help. To that end, exploring concepts regarding healthy relationships through video games has been shown to be more effective than traditional pen-and-paper learning. Jennifer Ann’s Group’s use of intentionally designed video games through their ‘Gaming Against Violence‘ program is an award-winning and evidence-based approach to abuse prevention that has been shown to change unhealthy attitudes about relationships in a single game session.

Culture Overlord, as with all video games produced and published by Jennifer Ann’s Group is free. It contains no ads. It contains no in-app purchases. It is rated E (Everyone). Currently it is available to download for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Versions for iOS and Android devices will be available soon. More information and links to download are available through the companion website:

“The topic of culture and its influence on our daily lives is complex and important. I hope my game manages to effectively introduce players to the subject.”
– Lucas Vially, developer of ‘Culture Overlord’

Please contact Drew Crecente at Jennifer Ann’s Group for interview requests or for high resolution images from Culture Overlord.

Drew Crecente, JD
Jennifer Ann’s Group
+1 877-786-7838
email us here
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Culture Overlord: what will you make Dan do today?

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