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Eyes Off!_05.JPG

Eyes Off!

Digital Game | Interactive Storytelling
#MFA Thesis Project


A mini-game series that challenges the victim-blaming culture surrounding sexual harm and gender issues. Through nine levels of daily experiences, the game empowers players to accept vulnerability and avoid judgment. It provides an entertaining and approachable platform for discussing secondary victimization. This project encourages players to reflect on social norms for perfect victims and take action toward creating a safer, more inclusive society.


Game Design

Game Develop

Narrative Design



Sep 2022 - May 2023


Parsons School of Design - MFA Design & Technology

2023 Thesis Events "Entropy"

Game Demo


In 2022, a disturbing incident caught my attention—a woman bravely shared her experience of suspected secret photography in an anonymously written article. Instead of receiving support, she faced victim-blaming responses that shifted the focus away from the possibility of sexual harassment and placed unfair blame on her. Troubled by this, I conducted extensive research and uncovered shocking truths about society's unrealistic standards for victims of sexual harm. Motivated by personal stories and a desire to challenge harmful norms, I delved into gender studies and sought to disrupt the cycle of inequality. Through my project, I aimed to foster awareness, challenge societal norms, and create a more just and equitable world for all.


Research Question

To build the research base of my project, I explored gender theories and discrimination related to sexual harm. To build my theoretical foundation, I relied on two primary sources: Raewyn Connell's book, "Gender in the World Perspective", (first published in 2009) and Erinn Cunniff Gilson's article, "Vulnerability and Victimization: Rethinking Key Concepts in Feminist Discourses on Sexual Violence." (2016)

Gender Relations - Reproductive Arena

Drawing on Raewyn Connell’s model of Gender Relations and Cunniff Gilsons’s specific analyses of victimization, I developed a framework for understanding how victim-blaming culture arises, and focused on the following question:

How can accepting vulnerability evoke agency to eliminate victim-blaming in sexual harm?

Design Process

Design Process

During the project's design process, I explored different forms of expression and ultimately chose game design to convey my message effectively. Guided by my instructors, I focused on my unique perspective, leading to the creation of multiple prototypes and conducting user testing to refine interactions.

Eyes Off! - Initial Storyboard

Initial Storyboard

I faced challenges along the way, such as the lack of player motivation and the need to balance between playfulness and context. To address these challenges, I transformed the scenarios in the storyboard into puzzles to add more excitement. Also, I introduced an antagonist called "Peepers," a whimsical eye monster representing social gaze and discrimination, to provide players with a clear goal to fight against.

eye monster.png

Peepers (Character Design)

Level Design

After user-testing, I chose 9 levels from my storyboard and grouped them into three chapters: General (Level 1~3), Gender Roles (Level 4~6), and Harms (Level 7~9). These levels progressively guide players from abstract images to specific scenarios depicting the oppression faced by women. In the first playthrough, players experience the role of victims while being mocked and guided by Peepers.

The game levels create awareness and empathy toward oppression. The color palette of green and red represents characters aligned with or deviating from social norms. Players start as red characters and progress by adjusting their interactions. Successful choices and interactions close the eyes and turn red characters green, indicating level completion and providing clarity for gameplay.

Game Mechanic

An empowering interstitial section follows the initial playthrough, allowing players to fight back against the eye monster. Equipped with the "Eye-Bye Glove," players can slap the eyes off the monster, sending a message about acting differently and stopping harmful investigations. The satisfying mechanic, along with sound effects and visual feedback, enhances player agency and accomplishment.


Eye-Bye Glove

Slapping Eyes Off

Slapping Eyes Off

The game's progression starts with simple interactions and gradually increases in complexity, building challenges and achievements over time. In the second playthrough, interactions are simplified for faster progression, emphasizing the contrast between conforming to social norms and actively stopping gazes and judgments.

Interaction Complexity Chart

Interaction Complexity Chart

UI Design

Screenshot 2023-07-18 at 7.20.50 PM.png

Main Menu

Screenshot 2023-07-18 at 7.24.06 PM.png

Pause Menu

Screenshot 2023-07-18 at 7.25.43 PM.png

Progress Bar


Exhibition Result

Evaluation & Future Prospect

In my project, I successfully created a game that sparks conversations about victim-blaming and challenges societal norms. Feedback from players has been positive, particularly regarding the empowering action of slapping the eyes off the monster, which conveys the message of rejecting others' gazes and judgments. While the participant's takeaway differed slightly from my original intention, it still aligns with the call to action. This project has expanded my skills and allowed me to address a topic I deeply care about.


Looking ahead, there are exciting possibilities for further development. Expanding the gameplay with more levels covering different stories and aspects of daily life would increase replay value and provide a diverse experience. Enhancing interactive elements, such as adding feedback and animations for interacting with artifacts, would create a more dynamic and playful experience. Additionally, the game's friendly aesthetics have the potential to appeal to players of all ages, including children, with appropriate supervision to ensure suitability.

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