Okay, we admit it: When we first read about an abstinence video game in development down in Florida, we were ready to jump all over what a ridiculous idea it was. As if abstinence-only education needed to be removed even further from reality! As if abstinence-only education really deserved another $434,000 federal dollars! Etc. But when we watched the (ahem, Fox News) segment closely, we realized that the video game’s heart might be in the right place after all. The idea of the game is to teach middle-school girls how to recognize and rebuff sexual innuendo, middle-school come-ons, unwelcome make-out sessions, etc. Which is, we have to admit, a pretty admirable goal. In fact, we know many 20-something women who could use similar coaching. The game is supposed to teach kids how to fight peer pressure in an environment with no peer pressure; players (not playas) wear motion capture suits and win points for developing certain social skills. (Like, say, the Heisman?)
Of course, we’re already cringing at what the academics at the University of Central Florida have come up with for their sexual innuendo dialogue and pick-up lines. How can it possibly not make middle-schoolers point and laugh? It’s hard enough for multi-million dollar movies and TV shows to get this stuff sounding legit.