Please don’t tell me. Show me.
“When my thirteen year old daughter came home from
school in a dark cloud, it was clear that something awful
had happened. She was both angry and fretful about an
upcoming sleep-over party in which one of her loose group
of friends had to be excluded. She wanted me to help her
negotiate. As we talked, we both realized that this was a
bigger problem and we decided to try to map it out. That
conversation was the seed that started a collaboration
on a school yard simulation.” - Michael Gibson
Sir Basil Pike Public School is an interactive narrative
role playing game that explores the dynamics of bullying
among boys and girls aged 10-14 (grades 5-9).
The user can follow either the boys’ story or the girls’ story.
Both stories intersect for the conclusion. In the boys’ story,
the user is accused of stealing another boy’s bike.
is the truth and honour.
The girls’ story revolves around
a sleepover party where all but one is invited and the
consequences of being nice or competitive are explored.
The purpose of the game is to show what’s really going
on in a couple of common schoolyard conflicts and to
challenge the user to think about the consequences of
impulsive action. The game presents a non-linear approach
to problem solving that reveals to the user the cause
and effect of different strategies of conflict resolution.
Subject Matter Experts
Dr. Joanne Cummings Ph.D. C.Psych.
Dr. Debra Pepler
The game, Sir Basil Pike Public School, was piloted at
four grade 7 classrooms last fall. Dr. Joanne Cummings
described the pilot in her report as follows:
“As soon as the game started, students were attentive
and quickly engaged. Indeed, within a short time, they
became highly aroused and there was a palpable feeling
of excitement. In this atmosphere, the students’ decisions
seemed spontaneous. They openly expressed strong reactions
to the action in the story. They exhibited several strong
feelings: a keen desire not be left out, derision for some
of the characters, empathy for others, nervous laughter
when one character felt hurt and alone, expressions of
sympathy, and expressions of ambivalence and confusion.
Lively debates about complex issues ensued. The children
clearly enjoyed trying out social behaviours that they
themselves labelled as bad, and they were equally keen
on subsequently going back to try a better choice.”