the game

One Night Stan is a humorous, social card game about navigating sexual situations and encounters with potential sex partners

In the game, the player takes on the role of a young woman who meets a variety of guys in different social situations. As each new story unfolds, a player must consider the risks and benefits involved. The more empowered a player becomes, the better choices they can make!

Our main goal in developing One Night Stan was to empower women to make informed decisions regarding sexual encounters by playing on the real-life scenarios that women have found themselves in at bars, block parties, and perhaps even at a soup kitchen!

Played by 3-5 players, One Night Stan encourages conversations about the sometimes-difficult topics to talk about, such as STIs and sexual risk-taking.

Women’s Health Research ay Yale Pilot Project Program

In July of 2013, we received an 18-month grant from the Women’s Health Research at Yale Pilot Project Program to develop a videogame prototype of an HIV prevention intervention that focused on empowering young black women, ages 18-25, to insist that their sexual partners use condoms and get tested for HIV/STIs. We spent the first six months of the grant exploring the literature and conducting focus groups with young black women in the community in order to better understand their preferences for videogames, gaming platforms, and game design ideas. From this feedback, the idea for One Night Stan was spawned – to develop a role-playing, social card game about evaluating sexual situations and encounters. We spent the next nine months having young women help us playtest and refine the game.

pilot study results

After we created a final, testable card game prototype, we conducted a small pilot study with 21 young black women (average age 19) to test One Night Stan and collect data on the preliminary impact of the game. Our data suggests that the game increased important factors related to behavior change, including attitudes, social norms, self-efficacy (confidence), and intentions one month after women played the game. Important behavioral changes were also observed after one month: of the currently sexually active participants (n = 11), 64% discussed condom use with their partner and 73% used condoms with their partner. Additionally, five participants talked to their partner about getting STI/HIV tested, four participants reported partners actually got tested after being asked, and two participants got STI/HIV tested themselves.

focus group feedback

After they played, we conducted focus groups with women regarding their experience playing One Night Stan. Women described their experience as fun and enjoyable. When asked what they learned from playing the game that they did not know before playing, women discussed facts about STIs (including HIV), the effects of drinking alcohol on sexual behavior, the consequences of poor decision-making including not using condoms, and the importance of asking potential partners about their sexual past, including if they had been recently tested for HIV/STIs. Women also felt the game was relatable and tailored to situations they had encountered in their lives. When asked how playing this game might help others make better decisions, women discussed how experiencing consequences in the game allowed women to see how certain choices could affect their lives, which provided women the knowledge and empowerment to make good choices when confronted with real life situations.