Iffy Land – The Fight for Innocence

Original sketch of the game and notes of other aspects that would go along with it.

First physical prototype of game.

Second prototype of game.

Final version of game.

One of my main sources of inspiration.

Trains by Brenda Romero, another source of inspiration.

That Dragon Cancer video game by Ryan Green, another source of inspiration.

Ad campaign from Spain using lenticular image.

Example of one of the coloring sheets that would accompany my game with the text that would be hidden in the image.

Another example of one of the coloring sheets that would accompany my game with the text that would be hidden in the image.

Challenge cards

Role Play cards

The two different sides under the center piece on the game board.

Interview with Tim Hathaway:

 

What is your name, the name of your organization, and could you please describe your position in the organization?

Tim Hathaway. Prevent Child Abuse New York. Executive Director, oversee/administer all programs, operations + staff.

 

What are the most common cases of child abuse that you encounter in your org.?

Annual basis, 64,000 cases indicated (go through and known for certain that something actually happened), many more reports.

About 53-55% = related to neglect. Educational, medical, lack of food and clothing. By far the largest.

Physical abuse next, sexual abuse, emotional abuse happens a lot but proving it is a bit more challenging. Emotional abuse doesn’t take up as big of a share of indicated reports.

 

In your opinion, what do you feel is the hardest part of dealing with these cases?

So many different levels. In terms of what’s happening for children, the trauma aspect is the most difficult. Child abuse is a trauma experience. Has a clear biochemical response that sets up for children. Response gets cemented in/hardwired into child on-going emotional state + physical state. If this is not dealt with, it literally has lifetime consequences. Also know that kids who have pattern of abuse in life actually sets up changes in brain, chemistry changes. Impacts ability to learn in future, has been tied to significant health consequences, later adult life health is impacted.

Family’s – most challenging is most family’s want to do what’s best for their child. Don’t have enough info, don’t know about child development. Grown up with abuse themselves. Also have lots of conflicting info, some people say it’s ok to hit child, some people say never hit kids. Parents also have systems – state child protective system – immigrant families have entire different cultural understanding of what’s right/appropriate raising of child. Gets them conflicted with system.

For us, helping to get people to think about prevention. People hear about child abuse and go 1) to look for someone to blame, and 2) think that it’s someone else’s problem and don’t have to worry about it, or can’t do anything about it anyway, so I’m just going to ignore.

 

Is there anything that you’ve learned from working in this field that you wish other people could know?

Issue about prevention. Child abuse is largely preventable. In our work, we talk about risk factors that lead to child abuse. Risk factors are predictable. If family has had history of trauma we know that that child is going to be more vulnerable to child abuse. Substance abuse = risk factor. If there is a situation of housing instability, puts child at risk. Economic instability puts a child at greater risk for maltreatment. About 18 factors that go into issue of risk for children in terms of maltreatment. There is only 1 factor that we cannot impact on the community level: age of child’s parents when child was born. Parents who have child at younger age, puts child at higher risk of abuse. All other risk factors have something that can be done on a community level. There are all kinds of solutions to child abuse. We have to be mindful in community of how we are approaching this kind of work. Not clear understanding of goals on ending child abuse. Not real organization of. We need to pull together more to end child abuse.

 

Do you think that child abuse is represented enough in today’s society? Is it easy for people to talk about and learn more about?

I’ve had a couple of different responses. 1st, child abuse is much more discussed about in today’s climate than it ever has been. If we look at long march of history, even back in 1970s, there’s been a huge amount of progress. Yes there’s more dialogue, social media gets these issues in front of people. But I think that also, there is still a huge amount of misunderstanding that needs to be addressed. We’ve just been dealing with relative child fatalities in NYC. There have been a string of fatalities related to child abuse over last 6 months – year and a half, media has covered those, but forced people back into trap of “who’s to blame for this”, blame is cast on ACS. Not helpful position, saying ACS has to fix itself is not how we prevent or fix child abuse. That’s where child abuse is reported to and keep everything on track. We have to get together as a community and work on preventing it. We need to refocus the conversation to what are the community solutions

 

How would you suggest shedding more light on child abuse and making it easier to talk about?

Yes, so I would love to see more public dialogue about the issue. So what happens a lot of times is that we will see these big media cases, tendency to push blame somewhere, dialogue/discussion goes into state agency/county agency and they’re tasked with “we have to solve this”. Sometimes there are community groups that pick it up, maybe churches start talking about it, schools start talking more about the issue, public meetings that are spawned out of it. That is one of the things that would really help around this. There should be more community dialogue about what can we do to protect children in this community and what can we do to solve this issue. That’s a super healthy thing, having this issue at town hall meetings, inner church/faith meetings, school board meetings, election processes, how do politicians see that there are ways we can prevent this, and share those.

 

Writing for Seminar:

I absolutely love cats (I have special permission to bring my cat here to school)! I believe we should save Earth because it's the only planet with chocolate, and nice animals. I love the city.

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