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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A bit quiet but much good in the silence

We’ve been a bit quiet on the home front but that is not due lack of energy and success with our game to address violence against women. It's more like we've been overwhelmingly busy! I'm sure many of you can relate.
We hosted a launch party this August and two chapters of an eventual 5 total have been released. As I’ve been updating the UN and others in the last few days on the successes of BREAKAWAY I realized that we needed to share with all of you as many of you have helped us reach the point we are at today!!! So first off THANK YOU!!!!

The team is full steam ahead on our third chapter release due in 13 days! Now over 90 Champlain students, the United Nations Population Fund, Population Media Center, numerous volunteers, and Champlain College faculty and staff have been putting forth amazing creative and productive efforts!

2 out of 5 chapters of BREAKAWAY have been released online since July. The remaining 3 chapters will be released monthly completing in December 2010.

Inter-Milan soccer star Samuel Eto’o is the spokesperson for and a character in the game. We interviewed and videotaped him this Spring. From this footage, corresponding video promos will be released on his thoughts about the nature of being a champion, being an advocate for others, and respect for women and girls.

Likewise, we've been busy getting the word out on the game to get it into the hands of young people. We have been helped immensely by press that has been drawn to the project. TV coverage by ChannelOne out of NYC aired on August 31 (see below) and scores of youth across the US became part of the game playing audience. It was cool to watch the US light up in Google Analytics in the ChannelOne broadcasting region!

To announce the game, we’ve been participating in summits and conferences. Sponsored by Liaison International , a student team, Lauren Nishikawa & myself just returned from presenting at "Images and Voice of Hope". We presented the project to an audience of media professional who are working to produce “media as an agent of world benefit”

This Friday, a panel of students will be presenting twice at Vermont 3.0 in Burlington . The panel title is:
From Zero to Hero: the process of game development,
10:30am – 11:15am and 1:00pm – 1:45pm.
And here is some very big news, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy will be giving the opening remarks for the 10:30 panel!

Other currently planned, upcoming presentations on BREAKAWAY include:
Presently, we can analyze hard data from our database and website analytics:
  • Since launching June 22, 2010 during the FIFA World Cup, the game has over 1070 registered online users from 90 different countries around the world.BREAKAWAY website for links)
  • Statistics regarding age and gender tell us we are reaching the target audience of young men – twice as many males as females are playing the game and over 50% of the user base is age 18 or under and they are coming back to play multiple times, a key component of the Sabido methodology on which this game is based.

  • In addition, 92% of players are making positive choices as opposed to negative choices within the game.
  • Potential influence and awareness is evident in website statistics which boast over 3800 visits from 133 different countries.
As you can well imagine with final online release in December, we won’t be finished yet with trying to change attitudes and behaviors around violence against women and girls.

After working on this project for over two years, we sometimes think our project and this message is old news, but with 1 out of 3 women abused in her lifetime there is much work to be done. We've traveled to and connected with the townships of South Africa to the schools of the Caribbean to the youth of Vermont, we want to reach youth around the world so they can discover, play, and all can benefit from this ground-breaking project!

Our future plans include finding funding to support: a global PR & marketing outreach, creating a facilitator/educator syllabus to distribute to schools, youth groups and soccer-affiliated groups, CD/DVD’s distribution for internet-poor areas (for distribution under the UNiTE campaign’s Men Engage), and a cell phone version to reach the poorest communities.

So we're asking each of you, to remember that it has been the little things that have added up in BIG terms on this project. Let's break through the silence. You can help! Please consider volunteering on the project, spreading the word, and consider donating as little as $5.00 towards our future goals. You can do so by visiting our project web site

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