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What Remains After ‘Edith Finch’ – by Harry Stainer

After my Grandad’s funeral I went into his old bedroom and as I looked around the room, I spotted many of his belongings – his fake Rolex watches, his books and old fishing gear, a hat he always used to wear on holiday.

For a brief moment I am brought out of this sobering day and into fond memories of him, and the stories his friends told me of him as a younger man – only to be snapped out of it a second later. Looking at these objects it reminded me of playing ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ a few months earlier. It dawned on me how much the game illustrated a profound understanding of the grieving process and helped articulate all of the thoughts and feelings that come along with such a traumatic life event.

Death is something that those who play video games are incredibly used to; if you’re Nathan Drake and you miss a jump ahead of you, the punishment is the loss of a character’s life, only for you to succeed the same jump a few moments later after your checkpoint has reloaded. It’s a constant threat in most of the games that we play, but it rarely holds any true consequences. However, in ‘Edith Finch’ that is not the case; you can’t die in Edith Finch but its story asks player to think about the messy nature of death and how grief has a habit of staying with us long after someone has passed.

One of the central plot points of the game is how the Finch family believed that their family were cursed – that all the losses in their family were caused by something that was out of their control and this was the reason they all met their demise. As the plot unfolds and you go through each room in this house, discovering how each Finch came to pass, it dawned on me that this ‘curse’ wasn’t just literal. For me, I always interpreted this curse as the collective grief that hung over the Finch family    – these losses are not something that they can just be free of and they have stayed with long after the have tried to move on and, in Ediths case – leave the house. This curse illustrates that there are no beginnings and no endpoints to loss and more importantly, shows how a loss can completely consume you and feel like a curse when you can’t find a way to move forward or come to peace with it.

As you go around the house Edith will comment on objects and parts of the house that bring up memories for her. Anyone who has been in the home of someone they have lost will understand the melancholy mood swings when seeing their handwriting on a note or an item that they used to wear everyday – it showcases how objects can tie us to moments and the people associated with them and although this can sometimes be hard – it also keeps a part of them with us.

However, despite its melancholic nature there is a lot of salvation in Edith Finch and the way it confronts the messy nature of our relationships. Loss isn’t ever neat; the whole reason we are returning to the house in this game is because of how unresolved our protagonist’s feelings are with all the ones that she has lost. Trying to understand how you feel about loss can take time and Edith Finch often feels like a story about that very theme. In the game’s final moments Edith states the line:

 ‘If we lived forever, maybe we’d have time to understand things. But as it is, I think the best we can do is try to open our eyes, and appreciate how strange and brief all of this is’.

This line offers us some kind of acceptance from Edith, an acknowledgment that the grief doesn’t go away – it’ll always be a part of her, and she won’t always be able to understand the messiness that comes with it. As we grieve, we grow around loss and finally begin to appreciate other things in life again. It’s a bittersweet way to end a game, but it rings true to all those who have been through this experience.

I found Edith Finch a hard game to find conclusions from in my initial playthrough – it leaves you to pick up the pieces and form some sort of opinion of the events that have happened. In the time after my second playthrough of ‘What Remains of Edith Finch’ the conclusions I have taken from it is that the stories, objects and memories we have about our loved ones tie us to them. We can find comfort and understanding from them, knowing that these things can make us cherish the ones we had, and within the messiness find peace.

There is no timeline to stop grieving and if you are struggling, there are bereavement counselling options available. Reaching out for support is a very positive step to help overcome the distress you might be feeling. At a Loss is a useful resource for helping people who have had a bereavement find the support they need.


Harry Stainer

Marketing and Operations for Grads In Games, freelance writer, book person on Instagram & occasional scriptwriter

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News

Is BioShock a Christmas game? How Rapture helps me through the festive period following the death of my uncle by Joe Donnelly

The festive season is a time for giving. A time for family and for friends, for pulling crackers, wearing silly paper crowns and reading aloud even sillier jokes. It’s a time for watching too many novelty television specials that haven’t aged well, and for debating whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie. It’s a time for asking the same questions of BioShock as a Christmas video game, and… hang on, what? That’s a new one. Let me explain. 

No matter which side of the annual ‘is Die Hard a Christmas movie?’ fence you find yourself on, the fact that cinemas up and down the country now allocate screens to the 1989 Bruce Willis-starring action film at this time of year some 30-odd years on would suggest that, actually, many people believe it is. Listen, I don’t make the rules, I simply follow them. Because despite all the violence, the explosions, the hostage situations, and the yippee-ki-yay-ing, the simple fact that John McLane’s debut gun-toting adventure unfolds on Christmas Eve, for many people, makes it a Christmas movie. The fact that the events of the original BioShock take place in the wake of a New Year’s Eve party places it in the same festive period, which, coupled with the fact that I used Irrational Games’ 2007 first-person shooter to get through a particularly difficult holiday season following my uncle’s suicide the following year, means I now view BioShock through the same tinsel-wrapped lens as many Christmas movie-lovers do Die Hard.

Tying BioShock to Christmas in overarching narrative terms may be a wee bit of a stretch, but in practice, revisiting Rapture now plays a huge part in my build up to the big day itself. My uncle sadly took his own life on May 12, 2008, whereafter I used video games as a means of escapism, to gain perspective and to press pause on what was an increasingly horrible reality for me at the time. I’m sure many of you have used video games in similar ways in the aftermath of loss, and BioShock was my own game of choice, as I found solace in smacking splicers upside the head with Jack’s red-painted drop-forged wrench, nullifying Big Daddies with the deadliest ADAM-infused superpowers, and taking down every last one of Rapture’s autocratic dictators with unwavering precision.

Admittedly, it takes a special game to entice me back after the credits roll, but I found myself in the familiar throes of the shooter once again in late December that same year, experimenting with new Gene Tonic and Plasmid combinations; again revelling in the path of destruction I could blaze through the now iconic setting and the sense of achievement, and subsequent endorphin-rush, toppling the likes of Peach Wilkins, Sander Cohen and, of course, Andrew Ryan could afford.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but BioShock was inadvertently marking the first step on my own mental health journey, which has since led to me being diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder – afflictions levied by the brutal nature of my uncle’s passing, so say the doctors and mental health professionals I’ve since sought the services of in the intervening years. While storming the dimly-lit corridors of Point Prometheus and the sprawling thoroughfares of Apollo Square, I wasn’t fully-aware that I was distancing myself from the grief and looming shadows I’ve learned to live with since, but I’m forever grateful for the respite they were able to provide at a time when I wasn’t ready to face the darkness head-on.

These are strange memories for me, because while I associate playing BioShock at Christmas time in 2008 with my uncle’s death, something I’d naturally prefer not to think about at any given time, they also remind me of my uncle himself. It’s now been well over a decade since my uncle passed away, and yet returning to the watery depths of Rapture ignites a sense of connection in me that perusing old photographs and recalling old family stories that involve my uncle does not. Playing single-player video games can be a very solitary, pensive and personal experience, which is why BioShock has since played an integral role in my build-up-to-Christmas ritual, with me nipping back into random old save files for short bursts at a time – in the same way many of us watch Elf, Love Actually or, if you’re so inclined, Die Hard at various points in December.

For me, it’s a comfort thing, and I encourage you to do the same: to ignore your pile of shame and to play something that makes you happy, brings you joy, or makes you feel safe over this Christmas period. Is BioShock a Christmas video game? Probably not, but it’ll always have a special place in my own preparations. Now, before you go, I’d like you all to do something for me – a Christmas wish, if you will. Grab a pen and a piece of paper. Re-read this article and jot down all the letters that are in bold throughout the copy below the opening paragraph. Read what you’ve written down, and would you kindly have a nice, safe and self-caring festive season.

 


Joe Donnelly
Joe Donnelly is a Glaswegian writer, video games enthusiast and mental health advocate. He has written about both subjects for The Guardian, VICE, his narrative non-fiction book Checkpoint, and believes the interactive nature of games makes them uniquely placed to educate and inform.

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News

Safe In Our World Is Hiring New Trustees

A fantastic opportunity has come up at Safe in Our World for new Trustees to join our Board.

See our Job Role Description here.

To complement our current board members, we are particularly interested in hearing from people with skills and experience in the following areas: 

  • Fundraising
  • Content Creation
  • Charity Finance
  • Charity Legal/Constitution   

However, these skills/experience are not essential in order to apply as we are keen to hear from a wide range of candidates and find out what each individual can offer. Previous Trustee experience is welcome but not necessary. 

The closing date is Friday 21st January 2022.

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My.Games Launch Mental Health Survey with Safe In Our World

Following our recent partnership announcement with My.Games, we’re delighted to have launched a mental health survey to gather more information on gamers across the world.

Through both My.Games in-game mobile opportunities, and through this link you can access and take part in the survey to support mental health awareness and understand more about how those within games feel about games and mental health connections.

We hope that that we reach players across the world to grow our understanding of mental health in the industry and within players to be able to tailor support accordingly, and support everyone in the best way we can.

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News

“Teamwork in Thomas Was Alone” by Ben Huxley

A few months ago, a friend introduced me to a gem from 2013; a simplistic looking indie release called Thomas Was Alone.

Created by Mike Bithell, it was originally a flash-based browser game (remember those?) so we couldn’t be further from triple-A blockbuster. The avatars are various rectangles that the player controls to solve puzzles. Its ideas, however, are more profound than any screenshot would have you believe; it credibly attests, among other things, that none of us are useless. As we slowly wade back to the physical workplace, this is a fact worth remembering. Everyone can contribute, and you’re not looking hard enough if you think otherwise.

Thomas Was Alone is set inside a computer mainframe, where AIs have mysteriously become sentient. Thomas, a red rectangle, is one such AI. While he is initially alone, he soon makes friends with various other rectangles, and it soon becomes evident that the gameplay revolves around making these characters work together.

The first person to accompany Thomas in his enigmatic journey is Chris. He’s a small yellow square who can’t jump very high, but believes he can do just fine on his own. He develops a hatred towards Thomas, partly because Thomas can jump so much higher, and Chris feels like more of a hindrance than anything. But it becomes clear that they need each other; Thomas needs to jump on Chris to get to higher platforms.

The next character to join the four-sided fellowship is John, a tall yellow rectangle with an impressively high jump. He thinks highly of himself, and wants to parade his skills to this new audience. Like Chris, he is forced to change his ways in the face of the evidence. John can’t complete the tasks on his own, and he becomes humbled by the necessity of teamwork.

Claire is a large cube who we first meet as platforms around her are crumbling. Like Chris, she can’t jump very high. She also moves slowly, and due to her size can’t fit through small spaces. She seems depressed, and as the world crumbles, she doesn’t make much of an effort to escape. In her depression, she seems ready to give up. As she hits the water, however, she floats. It turns out that she can swim, and is the only character who can. She realises she can help others across the water, and Claire begins to feel like a superhero just after she hits rock-bottom.

There’s more to this world than those who can jump and swim, and those who can’t. Each rectangle we meet is a complex and well-rounded (or edged) character. Laura makes an appearance later in the game, and she’s one of the few characters with a backstory – most of the rectangles become sentient just as we meet them. Laura had a group of friends before she met this group (we can only assume that they, too, were sentient AIs in the form of rectangles). While we never hear the details of this friendship, we know that they used Laura before disappearing from her life.

She is a long rectangle like John, except she’s horizontal. As other characters jump on her, they bounce considerably high. Having been jumped on plenty of times in the past, Laura has trust issues. However, continuing with the wholesome nature of the game, things take a turn for the better. As Laura reluctantly helps her new friends, they help her too. Her trust in others is gradually built back up, and she realises she’s found a group who won’t abandon her.

Using minimalistic shapes was a brave decision on Bithell’s end. He’s revealed in an interview that the rectangles were placeholders for something more complex. Whenever the characters were changed to something other than rectangles, however, something was lost. I wonder if that “something” wasn’t only in gameplay mechanics, but also in the artistry. The simplicity of these shapes makes it easy to draw metaphors. In fact, the whole point of minimalism as an art form is to reveal the truth by stripping away anything non-essential.

Stripped down to our simplest visual form, these squares are us as we work together. I won’t reveal the ending, or where the story goes at the midway point, but it’s enough for now to talk about these shapes and how relatable they are. You might feel useless and unable to help. You might not see the point in trusting a group again, after some event in your past. While it may be daunting, and occasionally frustrating, helping each other along is better than going solo.

It shouldn’t be too much of a spoiler to say that the trophy for finishing the game is called “Thomas Was Not Alone.”


Ben’s Muckrack

Ben is a freelance writer based in North Wales. He believes games are one of the most important and undervalued art forms, and aims to share their value to as many people as possible.

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News

Life Is Strange Through The Lens by Georgie Peru

Playing as Max, an 18-year-old photography student, Life is Strange was primarily developed to deal with the struggles teenagers face. The game covers difficult subjects including cyber-bullying, mental illness, and suicide.

When Max was a young girl, she was given a Polaroid camera by her parents. This major gameplay element accepted her into Blackwell Academy and allows the player to complete optional photograph objectives throughout Arcadia Bay.

During her photography class, Max experiences a strange vision of a tornado destroying the local lighthouse. In the midst of a panic attack, Max knocks her camera off her desk and rushes to the school bathrooms, and quickly hides in a cubicle when two students storm in fighting, resulting in the death of a girl. Desperate to save the girl, which is quickly revealed to be Max’s childhood best friend, Chloe Price, Max witnesses discovers her unique powers – the ability to rewind time and change the past to help her and others around her.

As the story evolves, players can decide whether to use Max’s powers to alter the past or not. When a school bully is forced to get a taste of her own medicine, do you choose to show her compassion or humiliate her further? Life is Strange doesn’t shy awry from dealing with tough issues – using a combination of virtual photography and Max’s rewind ability, players are compelled to make decisions, for better or worse.


Bullying

Life is Strange is full of psychiatric themes, either explicitly or implicitly. The game aims to explore these through Max’s investigative nature, wielding her Polaroid camera, and gathering the materials needed to make potentially life-changing decisions through her rewind ability.

One of the more challenging stories focuses on Kate, a student who is relentlessly bullied by her peers and online. As Max explores Kate’s dormitory, it’s soon clear that Kate has a very judgmental family. Following an incident where Kate is drugged at a party, leading to a compromising video of herself, she falls into severe depression.

Discovering more evidence using her camera, Max discovers that Kate covers up her mirrors so she doesn’t have to see herself. Her room is filthy, her beloved Violin hasn’t been played in weeks, and it’s soon clear that Kate feels utterly helpless and hopeless.

Despite the game offering multiple opportunities where the player can support Kate, she ends up on the roof of a building, intending to commit suicide. If the player has paid enough attention up until this point, through the features of virtual photography, there’s a strong chance you can convince her to come down.

Life is Strange makes a huge effort not to trivialize the issues surrounding mental health. If the player hasn’t attempted to build a relationship with Kate or is insensitive toward the issue, the implied suicide attempt shows things can go horribly wrong. Although Max’s power is a major gameplay factor, the developers made a point to remove her abilities from this scene, dealing with depression and suicide on an entirely human level.


Our World

Despite Life is Strange being a game, what makes it really poignant is that it takes place in our world as we know it. The characters aren’t unlike people we would meet in our everyday lives. This makes the underlying themes of mental health even more prominent, allowing players to get closer to the details through Max’s camera and her abilities.

Tackling issues like suicide, depression, and bullying are confronted head-on in Life is Strange. But more than just presenting us with issues and scenarios that involve or could lead to mental health issues, the game offers openings to players to further delve into key and trigger moments, being in the right place at the right time.

It’s clear from the story that Blackwell Academy left Kate feeling alone and desperate. Turning to her photography teacher, players will catch the last part of Kate and Mr. Jefferson’s conversation, but if you choose to rewind time, Max will hear Mr. Jefferson accusing Kate of being an attention seeker, with Kate walking away saying “Nobody cares about me, nobody”.


Through the Lens

Equipping players with the ability to rewind time and Max’s pivotal Polaroid camera, Life is Strange puts matters into the hands of the beholder and challenges a wealth of psychological issues.

The game finds its footing and establishes a deep connection with players through taxing themes like ADHD, sexual orientation, abuse, neglect, and more. By allowing individuals to “hide” behind a camera, Life is Strange explores the effects of morality, as well as the outcomes of ignoring obvious signs of characters’ struggles and the events that play out from the choices made.

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News

Red Dead Redemption 2 and Burnout

Burnout is a common thing felt around every industry there is, but in the games industry, especially for developers, content creators and gamers, burnout is rife within.

The definition of burnout features below:

“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job”.

There are ways we can show the symptoms of burnout through both cause and effect in video games, and there are games that bear resemblance to the concept of burnout. One of which is Red Dead Redemption 2, which we’ll discuss below.

Now burnout may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of outlaws in the dying wild west trying to survive, but that’s exactly what we’re highlighting. Dutch Vanderlind’s gang are trying to survive in a time that is nearly gone; there’s no room for outlaws any more, society is evolving and leaving many things behind, including their way of life.

After a robbery in the town of Blackwater goes wrong, the gang are forced to flee and lay low in a nearby camp. They’re looking for ways to earn money to stay alive, while also trying not to raise suspicions with the locals and Pinkertons. The gang is desperate, pulling off odd jobs just to make enough money to make it to the next day. Dutch’s headspace slowly declines and clings onto every possible plan he can come up with, and the player (Arthur Morgan), loyally obeys every command in an effort to help in every way he can, despite beginning to question his way of thinking.

There are clear signs of Dutch’s mental health declining during the game. He carries the burden of many people relying on him, whilst under the influence of a manipulator. The pressures of everything simultaneously is a lot to handle. This is where themes of burnout begin to bleed into the game’s narrative. The whole gang are feeling it; they are trying every way possible to just settle, be in peace and have enough money to live on for the rest of their days.

It seems to be a continous cycle of trying and failing, losing people, stakes being raised and having to move on. The gang can’t catch a break. Every day it takes a toll on all of them in different ways; they’re stressed, desperate to just settle down, but with a manipulator and the declining mind of Dutch, things just seem to spiral out of control.

Now obviously in real life, we’re not rolling with Dutch Vanderlind, trying to get rich and live out the rest of our lives in Tahiti, but you can compare it to real-life settings. Game developers want to bring their art to the masses, bring creative ideas to life, show people what they can do and provide incredible experiences. The games industry is notorious for period of crunch and deadline pressures which affects the mental health of those who work within it. In fact, in a recent UK census, 31% of those asked revealed that they live with anxiety, depression or both, when the national average is 17%.

This damaging work-life balance and strain can be seen across the creative industries. One example we see a lot in our industry is streamers and community managers. Having to manage entertaining your audience regardless of what’s going on in the background can be incredibly taxing on your own mental health and can easily lead to burnout, especially so if this sort of content creation is done as a side project in addition to a full time job.

Games, even ones that aren’t developed with mental health as a focal point, can tell us a story and easily relate to how we’re feeling. Red Dead Redemption 2 portrays burnout, the results of the burnout and the extremes it led to for the gang. We all have our stories of how burnout has affected us and how we’ve coped.

The good news is there are ways to combat burnout. Taking real breaks away are a great way to just switch off from what is going on. Schedule free time and actually take that free time, whether it be going on a walk, playing games, calling friends or family, taking a nap… there are so many different ways to refresh your mind. Burnout has many different forms and reaching out to trusted people, talking to your GP or booking an appointment with a mental health professional is always a good idea when you’re struggling in any way, shape or form.

 

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News

Roguelike Setbacks by Ben Huxley

After hearing so many good things about Supergiant’s Hades, I decided to give it a go, and, in doing so, dip my toes into a roguelike for the first time.

For those out of the know, a roguelike is a dungeon-crawler with a similar model to 1980’s Rogue; procedurally generated dungeons, a fantasy setting, permadeath (there’s a big debate about the specifics of the subgenre, but I’m not getting into that).

Initially, the permanent death feature put me off. For someone who loves games, I’m terrible at them. So terrible you’d curl your toes with anguish if you watched me play anything tougher than Animal Crossing. Starting over whenever I lost didn’t sound appealing; in most hack’n’slashers I need about ten shots at the first boss. Booting up Hades for my first crawl, I didn’t get very far (unsurprisingly). When the inevitable happened and I went back to the start, however, I was pleasantly surprised.

Evidently there’s a lot to learn from roguelikes, especially when it comes to positivity, mindset, and coping with setbacks. I want to talk about a few of those lessons. Parallels between videogames and life are often lazy platitudes of which, I’m sure, we’d all rather hear less. But hear me out.

I should briefly explain the loop and concept of Hades. Set in the world of Greek mythology, players take control of Zagreus, son of Hades, as he attempts to escape the underworld to join the gods of Olympus. The first we see of him; he’s jumping from his balcony to begin the arduous journey out of Hell. The gods of Olympus send weapons and powers to aid him; they’re evidently anticipating his arrival with warmth. When Zagreus is defeated, however, we’re not faced with a typical “game over” situation. Instead, our protagonist materialises in the house of Hades – the only home he’s ever known – to the jeers, taunts, praises, and encouragements of his eclectic household. His father pities him, but something his mother Nyx says stands out. She tells Zagreus, and by extension us: “Do not despair, child. Such setbacks are inevitable and may be overcome with effort, and with time.”

Hades’ permadeath mechanic isn’t a punishing feature to weed out the weak and reward the strong; it’s a reminder that failure can be the best thing to occur. At the risk of sounding like Oprah or Tim Robbins, I’ll provide a cheesy metaphor: failures are the rungs on the ladder to success. Every time Zagreus fails at his escape attempt, more of the story reveals itself to us. The conversations in the house of Hades are different every time we return; the more we lose, the more we learn about the world and Zagreus’ place in it.

This is why roguelikes are so popular. They’re never repetitive either, because of the procedurally generated stages. We can get used to the rhythms of the game, but it’ll be different every time. The joy of playing comes from starting again with a different tactic, more experience, and knowing we have a different adventure ahead.

There are plenty of setbacks in our lives that feel like starting from the beginning; I’ll call them roguelike setbacks. One such roguelike setback is falling off the metaphorical wagon. Someone might quit smoking for two months before having a stressful day at work, or letting loose at a party. Before they know it they’re half-way through a pack, and feel they’re back to square one. They may think that those smoke-free two months were all for nothing. Actually, the opposite is true.

If we reframe our thought process, we can look at it a different way. They went for two months without smoking. That may have been the longest they ever went without a cigarette – which in turn makes it the most progress they’ve ever made in their dungeon-crawl out of a smoking habit.

Hades’ loop demonstrates that an epic defeat is to be expected. It encourages failure because that’s the only way to learn. If you keep losing to the Hydra in Asphodel, then keep that in mind and think of a new tactic for when you get there. It’s the same if you only smoke when you’re stressed – keep that in mind, and have a tactic ready when a stressful situation arises.

There are plenty of roguelike setbacks; failing a test, losing a job, forgetting a skill, or simply losing motivation. After a defeat, Zagreus takes stock and talks to his friends and family, before setting off once more – often with the stoic words: “here I go again.” We can learn from him and do the same in our own roguelike setbacks. Regular failures are inevitable in our escape from hell, but with a little mental reframing we can see them in a positive light. It might not feel it at the time, but the bigger the setback, the wiser we are for our next run.


Ben’s Muckrack

Ben is a freelance writer based in North Wales. He believes games are one of the most important and undervalued art forms, and aims to share their value to as many people as possible.

 

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MY.GAMES announces partnership with video games mental health charity Safe In Our World

The partnership will support a series of initiatives to create awareness for the charity and help gamers and game developers around the world access important mental health resources.

Global gaming brand MY.GAMES is delighted to announce that it is extending its mental health awareness initiative through a new partnership beginning today with Safe In Our World, the video games mental health charity.

After the charity’s successful fundraising drive Safer Together, during May’s Mental Health Awareness month, MY.GAMES was keen to pitch in to help the charity with its long-term objective; eliminating the stigma surrounding mental health to make it a natural topic of discussion and to promote the dialogue surrounding mental health so people are not afraid to reach out for help if they need to. 

Starting today, MY.GAMES is running a global advertising campaign across its mobile titles to create awareness for the charity and help gamers and game developers around the world access important mental health resources.

Leo Zullo, Chair and Trustee of Safe In Our World commented:  “The video games industry creates worlds for huge numbers of vulnerable people, and it is our duty to help and support them. We can reach them and share this message if we work together; and together, we can actually make a difference. Safe In Our World is the first step in these efforts, and we’re delighted with the response within the industry and from our partners, such as MY.GAMES, and individuals who are joining this initiative.”

Elena Grigoryan, CMO at MY.GAMES added: “Mental Health awareness is an important part of the MY.GAMES strategy for creating a safe and comfortable environment for everyone who loves games within our communities. We are glad to be supporting Safe In Our World’s activities and the important work the charity is doing. We want to help in any way we can to contribute to strengthening the knowledge around the subject of mental health and work together to open a dialogue around these topics – creating a safe space for people to reach out.”

Working hand in hand with companies promoting the conversation around mental health has been part of MY.GAMES mission for several years, particularly amid the global pandemic. This has included a study with the IDGA and Fair Play Alliance conducted in 2020 assessing how aware gamers are about mental health, and how often they experience problems related to it.  After the success of this initiative, MY.GAMES will also be facilitating a new anonymous research survey beginning in July to help Safe In Our World gather important information and data to help with their mission. Other aspects of the partnership will be announced soon.

CEO of Safe in our World, Dr. Gina Jackson OBE concluded by saying: “The main goal of Safe In Our World is to create and foster worldwide mental health awareness within the video game industry and beyond; to eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health, to make it a natural topic of discussion, and to promote the dialogue surrounding mental health so people are not afraid to reach out for help if they need it. We feel that partnerships like these will be a step towards achieving this goal for the people within our games communities.”

 

 

 

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Gina Jackson OBE Joins Safe In Our World As New CEO

We are pleased to announce Dr. Gina Jackson OBE has joined the charity as CEO.

Dr. Gina Jackson OBE is a Video Games Industry pioneer, becoming an OBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours, she was a recent recipient of the MCV/Develop Women in Games award for her outstanding contribution. Gina began her career in games development in 1992 and has worked for developers, publishers, and distributors covering console, PC, and mobile games. Most recently Development Director at Sold Out, Gina will continue her association with GamesAid, stepping down as Vice-Chair but continuing as a trustee, she remains on the board at NextGen Skills Academy, Visiting Professor in Games Industry and Business at Norwich University of the Arts and acts as an advisor to several games developers.

“Gina has been a key individual in the establishment of Safe In Our World, serving as a Trustee and lending her invaluable advice as the charity has grown.” Said Leo Zullo, Co-founder and Chair of Safe In Our World. “The Charity is at a level now where we needed to bring in the right expertise to lead Safe In Our World into the years ahead. After a hard year of lockdowns and COVID-19, the need to ensure our players and teams can find support is larger than ever. With our continued momentum, the Board of Trustees and I are delighted and thrilled to be able to appoint Gina and look forward to a new chapter in the Safe In Our World journey.”

Dr. Gina Jackson OBE, commented, “I am absolutely honoured to be able to take up the position of CEO for this incredible charity. Whilst taking our first steps it was apparent that our goals to eliminate the stigma about mental health and to promote the dialogue surrounding mental health has resonated with both gamers and those who work in the industry.” She continued, “From the companies engaging with the level up programme who are transforming workplaces to support wellbeing to the community manager mental health training, it is clear these are initiatives that are being welcomed by industry.

The feedback we have been getting from our Safer Together discord server demonstrates the power and support that a positive online community can bring and the generosity of those who participated and donated during our May fundraiser continues to inspire us to provide resources, training and tell people’s stories so we can all feel empowered to talk about our mental health and seek support whenever we need or want it.”

Dr. Gina Jackson OBE begins her role with immediate effect.

In the two years since Safe In Our World formed, the charity has united the industry with its campaign for the removal of stigma around mental health and ensure gamers and teams can find the right support. Over 50 of the biggest gaming companies having joined already, including 505 Games, Mediatonic Games, Sega Europe and The Embracer Group, the charities mission continues with ongoing activities, including free training for Community Managers, signposting for support and upcoming Safer Together Campaign in May.


For more information, and to download press assets, please visit:

Safe In Our World https://safeinourworld.org/press-centre/

Skills utilised:
News

Bump Galaxy: The Minecraft Server For Self Healing

We spoke to Bianca Carague, Social Designer & Researcher and creator of Bump Galaxy, a Minecraft Server built to support your mental health through the power of virtual spaces. 

What was the inspiration behind Bump Galaxy, and why did you decide on Minecraft as the medium to deliver it in? 

When I first started playing Minecraft, I was struck by the exploitative mechanisms behind most video games. I feel differently about it now, but at the time, it wasn’t intuitive for me to chop trees and turn cows into beef. When I first spawned in a forest in Minecraft, all ll I wanted to do was pet the fox before me. I was shocked to find that all I could do was kill it. I think that the way we’re taught to play has a lot to do with how we interact with one another in the physical world. I wondered if I could create my own alternate reality within Minecraft’s neoliberal worldmaking system that actually aligned with my values.

Bump Galaxy really just started out as an experiment. I use to practice Reiki (energy healing, for those that aren’t familiar) and tried doing sessions in a smaller Minecraft server called Portal’s Temple. I didn’t have a physical space to do it and lots of healers do it via distance anyway so I thought doing Reiki in a floating temple in the sky overlooking a lake and forest might be a more intimate way to do virtual care.

At some point before the COVID-19 pandemic, I connected with several different care practitioners (counselors, drama therapists, haptotherapists, etc.) who expressed the need to migrate their practices online. They were actively seeking ways to virtualize their practice but didn’t know how. I invited a few of them to visit the server and we grew it into what’s now Bump Galaxy that could accommodate more people and other forms of care. It was really more a matter of small, incremental insights rather than one big burst of inspiration.

I built Bump Galaxy on Minecraft simply because it’s the game that sparked my interest in game mechanics. In hindsight though, I’m glad that I built it there because it was really the quickest, cheapest and most accessible way to prototype and validate different game world therapies.


Would you tell us a little about the different areas within Bump Galaxy and their purposes?

Bump Galaxy has several shared landscapes designed for different types of care, from a meditation forest to an underwater temple designed for hypnotic visualizations. I call them Care Commons. New ones are created all the time, as I meet new people online who would like to collaborate and share their unique experiences in personal development, but I’ll mention a few:

The Meditation Forest is for breathing exercises and meditations that help with relaxation. Here, players can plant a tree, meditate until it grows and leave a message next to it for someone else to read. As people do this, the forest grows into a living, growing monument of the community’s collective wellbeing.

The Sand Dune Dreamscape is, as the name suggests, sand dunes where players can access guided meditations that help them reflect on their dreams and how they can use these insights to grow in their waking lives. It’s about helping people make sense of their dreams for themselves and build their intuitive muscles.

The Snowfield of (Self) Love is a place where players can reflect on and discuss love and relationships.

The Underwater Temple is about diving deep into oneself in order to heal. It’s also about visualizing joyful moments in times of despair.

In these Care Commons, players can engage independently, with friends or with mental health professionals for more formal therapy sessions. They can build on the landscape using resources they get from engaging in the world so that as the community grows, so does the landscape.


You’ve mentioned the use of live events within the server – tell us a bit more about how they work and what they consist of! 

We’ve had events such as a live virtual sound bath and guided meditation in our Symbiotic Jungle called ‘Mycelium to Dry Your Tears’. In an event like this, we would have a DJ or sound artist on the decks, high above a river. Floating just on the water is a meditation floor where the participants gather for the guided meditation. The meditation is about reflecting on our relationships beyond ourselves — with our environment and each other — on ecological solidarity. The meditation is then followed by some journaling, building on the landscape and overall good times.


Do you think this sort of idea could be replicated across other games? 

Definitely. The way I see it, there are so many tools and platforms that already exist. It’s just a matter of exploring new ways of using them.


We’re passionate about games that can do good, especially within the realms of mental health. How have you used real-life applications from mental health support services to embed within the game, and how important do you think that the elements of the game are in portraying to people who may not have had this type of experience before? 

In Bump Galaxy, we have a floating island that we use specifically for Drama Therapy. There, we’ve had workshops wherein a drama therapist would guide participants through using roleplay and improv as a means for social support. It’s difficult to organize these kinds of activities when people can’t go out, but we can do it in a game, even with people from other parts of the world. This type of social support is not only fun and interactive but surprisingly enlightening. It’s especially great for participants that wouldn’t otherwise feel comfortable trying it in person.

As for other Care Commons, the inspiration for the mechanics come from activities that I or visitors of Bump Galaxy have found helpful in real life. We turn these physical experiences and techniques into rituals that can be done in the game. In a virtual world, players are cognitively predisposed to (make) believe, much like when watching a play. The beauty of game world therapy is that it’s more engaging than other forms of virtual care.


Bump Galaxy Instagram

Bump Galaxy Website

Bump Galaxy Twitch

Skills utilised:
News

Safer Together: Mental Health Month Fundraiser & Save The Dates

Safer Together is around the corner, so here is some useful infomation about what we’re up to for Mental Health Month.

ABOUT SAFER TOGETHER

This Mental Health Month we’re encouraging everyone to talk. Whether it’s to a friend, colleague, or a professional, talking is the first step to getting support, and we believe we’re safer together. 

We launched our first public Discord server: Safer Together, with the purpose of providing a public platform for gamers and industry folk to connect, find players for multiplayer games, discuss games, and be a safe community for all to talk or find resources. 

The Safer Together Fundraiser is looking to raise money for our future initiatives, invest in the evolution of the charity and will allow us to continue in our mission.

We are aiming to eliminate stigma surrounding mental health within the video games industry and its communities, so that every player and employee feels safe to reach out for help. 

The fundraiser will span the whole month of May, with Safe In Our World All-Star Community streams every day from the 1st – 7th May.


USEFUL LINKS & HEADLINES

Imposter Syndrome Panel in partnership with Ukie: On the 29th April at 4pm BST, we will be chatting with a wonderful panel about imposter syndrome and the effect it has on our mental health across the games industry. Tickets are *free* and you can grab one here.

Now available to watch here

Fundraiser Page:

Whether you’re looking to donate, support others or fundraise yourself – the fundraising page is where all the action will be across May.

For those fundraising for us, we’ve created some pretty fancy Safe In Our World limited edition merchandise that you’ll be sent if you hit fundraising milestones, including a 2021 #SaferTogether Pin Badge, Safe In Our World facemask/bandana and Safe In Our World Resuable Coffee Cup!


Safe In Our World Community Streams: Play With Safe

For the first week of May, we’ll be celebrating our community, and the power of social games, by having 7 days of Safe In Our World Streams! Kicking things off on Saturday 1st May with a custom lobby of Fall Guys hosted by Hannah Rutherford, followed by Mariokart chaos on Sunday with Gamebyte over on their Facebook page.

Monday is going to be back to Gamebyte for a wholesome stream on Animal Crossing Islands, and it’s to No Man’s Sky on Tuesday with our friends at Wired Productions.

Curve Digital and friends will be hosting a Human Fall Flat stream on Wednesday over on their Steam page, and we’ll be building what makes us happy in Minecraft on Thursday.

Finally, to tie up the week, Hannah will be hosting Among Us with the Safe In Our World community, which you will not want to miss!


For the remainder of May we’ll be looking to share and continue to spread the message that we are #SaferTogether and will continue to rally for mental health to be normalised within general discussion.

There will be giveaways, there will be freebies, and there will be multiplayer mischief.

Skills utilised:
News

Lockdown Connections: How Gaming Has Brought Us Together In The Year of Being Apart

How the Video Games Industry united through Lockdown 

 

Nobody could have ever predicted how 2020 and 2021 would play outA pandemic hit the world that would change the lives of everyone in many waysSociety felt like it would never be the same again. 

It wasn’t all darkness, thoughA light shone through as the video games industry took up arms and made it their mission to bring people together, providing new ways of social interaction for gamers and people who have never touched a game in their life. From giveaways and games for carers, to free memberships, events and much more. 

Favourite characters such as Geralt from The Witcher series, developed by CD Projekt Red, spoke to The Gaming Bible and gave hope that things would get better: 

“Stay on the path,” Geralt’s gravelly voice advises me over Zoom. “Things are going to get better. I know they’re bad now, but they can only get better. So stay on the path – and kill those monsters.”   

Chris Baraniuk wrote an article for the BBC that showed games weren’t just a distractionbut how beneficial video games can be in people’s lives, especially during the pandemic: 

For many, games don’t just provide a way of connecting with quarantined friends, they are also alternate universes where the reality of pandemic can be momentarily forgotten.”   

The article also talks about the hit title, Animal Crossing, that launched just as most of the world were heading into the first lockdown. It was a ray of sunshine for many, providing a place for players to meet, explore and hang out in their own wonderfully crafted islandThe game delivered a much-needed escape in such challenging times.  

Then the government realised the opportunity of reaching people through games. They started getting involved with video game companies to put safety messaging about COVID-19 into popular games, such as Sniper Elite, Dirt, Candy Crush and more. In doing so, the plan also showed one of the many ways gaming could be used for good, leading Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, to express his delight in seeing  the UK’s brilliant video games industry stepping up to strongly reinforce this message to gamers across the UK.”  

Gaming for Carers was an initiative that saw many AAA and Indie companies coming together to give free games to those who are working on the front line. It was a way to show a big thank you to NHS staff for going above and beyond, with companies such as Codemasters, Konami and Team17 contributing their games to the cause.   

Another notable organisation helping people stay connected over the pandemic was CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). CALM teamed up with UKIE to offer advice on how to get connected and how gaming could help through the tough times ahead, whether gaming with friends, offline, or watching gaming content via Twitch, YouTube and more.  

England Cricketers used online gaming to pass the time on tour, support mental wellbeing and keep up team rapportCricketer Stuart Broad found it particularly transformative, saying: “Gaming, for me mentally, has been vital.” Talking about the gaming sessions the team have streamed online, his experience was very positive: “There’s no abuse. There’s no agenda [...] It’s all just really positive chat about gaming and good fun, which I’ve really enjoyed. It’s quite rare for social media, to be honest.” 

Some gamers had described Square Enix’s Final Fantasy XIV as a massive help throughout the pandemicNME’s Alan Wen wrote an article highlighting how the game has been a lifeline for many through these uncertain times: FFXIV has made me feel like I can be with people even when I’m in quarantine. The way the game’s social aspects encourage teaming up with strangers to turn them into friends, the roleplaying scene, and all the amazing people has been incredibly positive.” 

We also asked some of our SIOW representatives how video games have helped them during the pandemic.  

Antonela PounderDirector of Global Community @ 505 GamesSafe In Our World Ambassador:  

“Our ability to go wherever whenever has been taken away from all of us, which I’ve found brings about a feeling of loneliness, even if you don’t live alone. Forming new friendships with others through current friendships has been incredible. We basically now have our own online support bubble where we talk about anything and everything (but try to avoid COVID chat!). Calls almost every evening has helped hugely, whether this be on Discord or using PlayStation parties, as well as engaging in online multiplayer gaming sessions together. Regular communication has been key, whether it be with friends, family and/or colleagues.” 

The Demented Raven, Streamer, Safe In Our World Ambassador: 

“Whenever some of my friends have had a rough day or feel alone, we decide to play video games to brighten up our day. One of these games is Overwatch and it always ends up with wholesome laughs, silliness, banter and pure joys of friendship. Video games have the power to really help people reach out and are a reminder that you’re never alone.” 

Matt Murphy, Genba Digital CEO, Safe In Our World Trustee:  

“I was a child of the ZX Spectrum era, and so Way of the Exploding Fist and Saboteur were my Persona 5 Strikers and Dying Light 2, as I saved my pocket money to buy the latest cassette games. But my love for games never waned over the years even if my access did, as work and now kids became my primary focus. I have a son who is 5 and a daughter aged 3, and so they aren’t quite ready to outwit mummy and daddy at Among Us just yet. But I’ve started to use video games as another way to have fun with my children during lockdown at the weekend when we have a spare hour – especially given the creative challenges facing the social secretary for two small children on a Saturday! Yeah,it’s not the latest AAA, but my son loves it when we both play the Lego Movie game together. It focuses him on teamwork, fine motor skills, problem solving and the fact that you can’t always win – a pretty cool life lesson if you ask me. It’s great for our souls in these stressful times and as long as he can be Emmet then everything is awesome.”

What is clear now is that more and more people in the World are recognising that gaming isn’t just for kids, a waste of time or a bad influence. Through 2020, people realised that gaming was able to help us with our social needs, provide much-needed distraction, and support mental wellbeing. The video game industry saw huge growth during these times, with more households buying consoles to play their new favourite games to escape in, whether gaming on their own or with others online.  

Will gaming be recognised in history for providing such an escape in the pandemic? We hope so. And we’ll continue to shine a light on the wonderful stories that show video games can be a crutch to many in dark times.  

 

Skills utilised:
Covid 19, News

How to Combat Loneliness in a Sea of Solitude by Georgie Peru

Loneliness is a personal feeling, so everyone’s experience of loneliness will differ. Being alone doesn’t by proxy make you lonely; loneliness breeds from an emotional state of loss, whether that be loss of social contact, loss of a person, or feeling lost within yourself. 

Ironically, knowing that others in the big wide world that surrounds us are too feeling lonely, brings a sense of connection and togetherness. Exploring themes relating to loneliness and indulging in such scenarios in the form of video games can bring an overwhelming sense of relief. Relief that all of our journeys somehow coincide and offer hope, through understanding mental health in a relatable way and finding the light, even in the darkest of moments.

Sea of Solitude is a very personal game, developed by Jo-Mei Games, which takes you on a journey of loneliness. You play as a young woman called Kay; covered in black tendrils with eyes burning red like the sun, you have a deep feeling of loss, and that’s the thing, you are lost. Kay hits the nail on the head early on by saying “I’m still trying to piece it together. What is wrong with me? Where am I?”. 

It’s a very poignant position to be in; controlling a character whose deep-set loneliness has affected her physical appearance. Unraveling the narrative, you and Kay learn how the gnarly monsters in Sea of Solitude connect to people in her life or as manifestations of her internal battle of emotions that can be interpreted by the player.

As Kay, herself, is a monster, she is in a unique position where she can talk to other monsters. It’s soon revealed that the monsters in Sea of Solitude are experiencing their own issues. Being able to relate to someone (or something) else who is also going through the same struggles presents a sense of understanding, sharing pain to bridge a connection.

Just like in “real-life”, the monsters in the game start to regain parts of their humanity by opening up and talking about their pain. This kind of narrative displays the daily struggles of mental health and the realisation of catharsis when a person is able to open up about their pain of loneliness by talking to others and understanding that other people are going through a similar experience.

Cornelia Geppert, Creative Director and Writer of Sea of Solitude sends a message that shared pain can reduce loneliness. Geppert herself was experiencing one of the “loneliest points” of her life when she had the idea of the game. Sea of Solitude constantly reminds us that sharing our internal struggles and pain with others, or finding something we can relate to, can bring a sense of peace and serenity – where it be loneliness, depression, anxiety, or something else.

Loneliness can make you feel like you’re drowning, especially when you’re hit with obstacle after obstacle, and this is something else Sea of Solitude touches upon. Playing as Kay, it’s very much drummed into the character and the player that “if you don’t succeed, try, try again”. If you’re unable to overcome an obstacle, Kay stands back up a few seconds before the point she failed, allowing you to easily try again without going through more pain and suffering.

There will always be bumps in the road, but the beauty of what Sea of Solitude teaches us is that everything can be overcome, as long as you keep trying at your own pace. All you can do is try, and eventually, you will succeed. Whilst Sea of Solitude is a game about loneliness, it shows us that loneliness and other mental health issues can be combatted by facing them head-on; by relating to other people, or scenarios that allow us to share a mutual pain. It shows us that we are even more connected than we ever thought we were.

Yes, there will be times where we feel like we’re drowning, and just as we start to paddle and keep our heads above water, our boat capsizes again and again. But above all, the darkness that loneliness brings will always shed light – there is always hope that we can uncover in metaphors, in games, and in life.


Georgie Peru’s Muckrack

Georgie is a bright, friendly and outgoing person. She is a highly analytical and technical individual who has a passion and the right mind-set for thought-provoking work, particularly focusing on content writing and web writing.

Skills utilised:
Covid 19, News

Safer Together: May Fundraiser 2021

We’re delighted to announce our Safer Together Fundraiser which will take place in May for Mental Health Month.

This Mental Health Month we’re encouraging everyone to talk. Whether it’s to a friend, colleague, or a professional, talking is the first step to getting support, and we believe we’re safer together. 

With that in mind, this March, we launched our first public Discord server: Safer Together, with the purpose of providing a public platform for gamers and industry folk to connect, find players for multiplayer games, discuss games, and be a safe community for all to talk or find resources. 

The Safer Together Fundraiser is looking to raise money for our future initiatives and continuing in our mission to eliminate stigma surrounding mental health within the video games industry and its communities, so that every player and employee feels safe to reach out for help. 

The fundraiser will span the whole month of May, with Safe In Our World All-Star Community streams every day from the 1st – 7th May.


Tiltify Campaign

We’ve now set up the event on Tiltify

If you’re looking to support us throughout the fundraiser and wish to register your own (solo or team) campaign to contribute to the event total, please follow this link to register with the event. 


Support

We’ve curated a list of ways that you could support us:

  • Donations – We are hugely appreciative of any support within the fundraiser itself. 
  • Fundraising – Within the Tiltify Campaign, you can register to create a fundraiser to contribute to main total, whether as part of a team or a solo campaign to support #SaferTogether – whether you’re a streamer, an athlete or anything in between, the opportunities are endless, and we appreciate every single one of you.  
  • Visibility – Any support in boosting our communications around the fundraiser would be greatly appreciated through social media platforms. 

Thank you all so much for the continued support, we’re excited to launch this fundraiser alongside our Discord, and be able to encourage more people to talk. 

Skills utilised:
News

Hub World – Motivation

Hub World – Motivation (February)

Welcome back to Hub World!

This month, we turned the Safe In Our World spotlight on to the topic of motivation. What strikes me most about the word ‘motivation’ is that it can carry so many different meanings, depending on the individual and what it means to them to be motivated. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of motivation? Is it tied to your career, the day-to-day, or maybe your social life? Ultimately, motivation is a constant – it’s what drives us to do pretty much anything. But, because everyone views motivation differently, it can be difficult to gauge or feel a sense of motivation if your view is based on another persons perceived success (as a result of seemingly limitless motivation juice).

Motivation is not directly tied to material success – we should congratulate ourselves more for the little things. You got out of bed today? Great! You spent some time with friends or loved ones? Amazing! If you can keep going through the day-to-day, no matter how mundane the task, you are motivated by something.

To get myself motivated, I try and immerse myself as much as possible in something – anything that drives my interest and will feed into other areas of my life, because it makes me happy to do so. Be that playing through Persona 5 Strikers, which is taking me on a wonderfully vibrant tour of Japan, or immersing myself in Final Fantasy XIV Online in order to fuel my passion at work.

Let’s take a look at all of the different ways other members of the Safe In Our World community keep themselves, and each other, motivated!

Antonela Pounder

Over the past year, keeping the mind active and staying motivated has been more important than ever. I’ve spent my spare time looking for ways to improve in my career, engaged in arts and crafts, had regular online gaming sessions with friends, set DIY projects (even if it’s only a small project to rearrange the stuff in our house) and began planning future trips for when we can travel the world safely again. These might be small things, but they have really helped to keep me motivated over the past 11 months.

Richard Lee Breslin

It can be difficult to keep yourself motivated at times and I can forget how those around me offer inspiration on a daily basis.

Whether it’s family or friends, sometimes it can be forgotten that you have people who would love the world for you if they could. Sometimes it can be easy to take that love for granted and I’ve been guilty of that myself.

Whether it’s loved ones, a friend that you game with, or a social media buddy. Inspiration and motivation can often be right under our noses, even if we don’t know it. Sometimes I have to take a step back to realise how amazing family and friends can be.

Sarah Sorrell

So staying motivated whilst working from home all day everyday is a challenge. I find little rewards really help me, for example after a certain amount of work that I need to get done I treat myself to 10-15 minutes of selfcare and do something I enjoy. This could be painting my nails, reading a few pages of my book, or phoning a friend just to escape for few minutes and re-charge my batteries. Especially in the winter, the days are long so it’s important to break them down into manageable sections and celebrate what you have achieved each day – that may be something big or small, or just even getting though the day.

Sarah Sorrell

Rosie Taylor

I’ve found that my motivation has been a rollercoaster throughout the pandemic, so I try to work with what I’ve got. Surrounding myself with positive and encouraging people has helped me find my own ways to bring myself out of a motivation-less hole. The main thing I do is try to set lots of small easy goals, rather than big ones; breaking down big tasks makes me feel more accomplished and means I can celebrate little victories, which spur me on to keep going.

 

Matt Murphy

I was a child of the ZX Spectrum era, and so Way of the Exploding Fist and Saboteur were my Persona 5 Strikers and Dying Light 2, as I saved my pocket money to buy the latest cassette games.  But my love for games never waned over the years even if my access did, as work and now kids became my primary focus.  I have a son who is 5 and a daughter aged 3, and so they aren’t quite ready to outwit mummy and daddy at Among Us just yet.  But I’ve started to use video games as another way to have fun with my children during lockdown at the weekend when we have a spare hour – especially given the creative challenges facing the social secretary for two small children on a Saturday!  Yeah it’s not the latest AAA, but my son loves it when we both play the Lego Movie game together.  It focuses him on teamwork, fine motor skills, problem solving and the fact that you can’t always win – a pretty cool life lesson if you ask me.  It’s great for our souls in these stressful times and as long as he can be Emmet then everything is awesome.


Emma Withington is a freelance writer and PR account executive at Bastion who has worked on campaigns for a variety of titles, including Control and Final Fantasy XIV: Online.

She is currently spending time focusing on the wider community and how she can help others through her personal journey with mental health.

Twitter.

Skills utilised:
News

Safe In Our World Announces Community Manager’s Mental Health Training courses funded by Jingle Jam 2020

Registration for initial course placements are now open: bit.ly/SIOWcmt

 

London, February 10 2021. Safe In Our World (www.safeinourworld.com) today announced that its upcoming Community Management Mental Health Training Programme is now open for sign-ups. Launching later this year, the programme has been funded entirely by the community of Jingle Jam 2020 and sees the charity team up with Mind Fitness Training to create bespoke Safe In Our World accredited courses.

Safe In Our World wishes to extend its thanks to all those involved with Jingle Jam 2020, including the tens of thousands of community members that donated to enable the charity to create and deliver this vital training.

Designed to empower community managers, or anyone with a consumer facing role within the videogames industry, with knowledge, insight and best practice guidelines, this bespoke Safe In Our World programme will deliver beyond our original goal of providing courses for to up to 50 community managers, with the charity hoping to quadruple this figure.

“We were truly humbled by the support of the Jingle Jam community, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to each and every one of them, as well as the organisers of Jingle Jam” said Kim Parker-Adcock, Deputy Chair, Safe In Our World. She continued, “This will be the first major initiative the charity will deliver in 2021, with many more to be announced. This course will empower those that talk directly to their communities with vital knowledge, guidelines and advice.”

“We were so pleased to have Safe In Our World as part of the Jingle Jam 2020 lineup of charity projects and our community felt the same,” said Lewis Brindley, co-founder of Jingle Jam. “This Mental Health Training Programme will provide much-needed support to those in the games industry who need it, we can’t wait to see it develop over the year.”

The Safe In Our World two-stage course includes both general mental health awareness and best practice. The programme will also include unique learning elements designed specifically for video games community managers, or those in a consumer facing role. With the aim to empower attendees with the knowledge and tools to deliver positive messaging, insights and actions, the course will offer a diverse skill set upon completion.

Registration is open now, and those interested should declare their interest, as Safe In Our World expects this free course to be highly subscribed. To register, please visit: bit.ly/SIOWcmt

The Safe In Our World mission remains; unite the industry to remove the stigma around mental health, within the industry and beyond, and to affect positive change for the better. For those interested in joining the Level Up Mental Health campaign, visit the Safe In Our World website for more information.

 

For more information, and to download press assets, please visit:
Safe In Our World bit.ly/SafeMedia

For press enquires please email press@safeinourworld.org

 

About Safe In Our World
Safe In Our World is a registered charity in England and Wales no. 1183344. A team of seasoned gaming veterans passionate about mental health brainstormed for over two years over ways they could make a difference. Launched on World Mental Health Day on October 10th, 2019, its aims are to raise awareness of mental health issues within the video games industry, and to provide resources, signpost help, and to drive change for everyone connected with the industry, for developers, publishers and service provides, to content creators and players. Its initial mission is to create an online destination where people can seek help, gain access to resources and information, and discover stories from real people within and surrounding the games industry, with more detailed policies available via the website. Safe In Our World is a worldwide hub accessible for anyone in need.

 

About the Jingle Jam

The Jingle Jam is the world’s biggest games charity event, taking place every year. Since its inception in 2011 the Jingle Jam has raised over $20 million, all for charitable projects across the world.

Skills utilised:
News

Get Well Gamers – Children’s Mental Health Week

From the 1st – 7th February 2021, it is Children’s Mental Health Week in the United Kingdom.

The theme of this year’s Children’s Mental Health Week is Express Yourself, which encourages finding ways to share feelings, thoughts, or ideas, through creativity. This could be through art, music, writing, gaming – the creative process is in their hands.

We’re delighted to be teaming up with Get Well Gamers in order to raise awareness on the resources that are available for children in relation to their mental health, as well as the important work that Get Well Gamers are invested in, in order to improve wellbeing in children’s healthcare settings. Get Well Gamers is a UK charity that takes donated video games and consoles to hospitals, hospices and other healthcare settings. They recognise that video games are an effective and proven pain management tool, providing much-needed entertainment for young people during long hospital stays or in circumstances in which recreational activities can be beneficial, and are currently linked up with over 100 hospitals and organisations across the UK.

“At Get Well Gamers, we know that being in hospital for children can already be a really tough experience. Throughout these especially difficult, unprecedented times, we’ve been working hard on getting donations out to make sure we can do our bit in assisting the fantastic and vital work that the Health Play Specialists and other staff members do, supporting the mental wellbeing of the children in their care.” Eleanor, GWG

Joe’s Story

Joe has been a long-term patient at The Royal Alexander Children’s Hospital, and his Mum kindly shared their experience and the effect that games have had on Joe:

My 12 year old son has been an inpatient at The Royal Alexander Children’s Hospital for 5 months. Due to Covid, visitors are not allowed & Joe is not able to leave his room apart from short outings outside to the hospital sensory garden. It has also not been possible to socialise with anyone else. Therefore, keeping Joe occupied & entertained has been a big challenge. It is with enormous thanks to the Play Team that Joe has been able to play an Xbox & Nintendo Wii, watch DVDs & have access to many different games & movies. Joe has a severe learning disability so access to this technology in order for him to play games has been fundamental in making his long hospital stay a positive experience for Joe & has also relieved a lot of stress for him & his parents.’ – Joe’s Mum

 

Ben’s Story

Ben is 14, and attends the Hospital Youth Club at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital. 

“I love playing on the Wii with my friends at the Hospital Youth Club. It’s a chance to have fun and a laugh with people who are going through similar issues to me.”

~ Ben, Aged 14

“We are so fortunate here at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital to receive donations from Get Well Gamers. We support a wide variety of inpatients and outpatients. We are able to use the donated technology to support patients individually and in groups.

These donations mean so much to patients as they provide that bit of escapism from whatever they are going through. Whether it is a console for an isolated patient or a team game during our Youth Club session on the Wii, this technology always makes the time go faster and puts smiles on faces.”

~ Louise Melbourne, Senior Youth Worker at Derbyshire Children’s Hospital

 

Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton

I cannot emphasise enough the value of gaming for children in hospitals. Very few things can completely distract and involve a child or young person like video games. We are fortunate to have a range of gaming consoles, all of which have been donated either from the public or from charities such as Get Well Gamers. As we do not have a budget for these resources we are enormously grateful for these donations. Get Well Gamers has been fantastic as they manage to find specific games that have been requested by patients. For example a young oncology patient was very keen to play super smash bros during his chemotherapy treatment which Get Well Gamers was able to provide. This distracted him from the nausea and anxiety during treatment and helps him to have positive memories of his time in hospital.’ – Louisa Cusworth, Play Team, Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital, Brighton.

 

Resources

Global

7 Cups of Tea is a free emotional support service with a special service for 13-17 year olds

 

United Kingdom

For those in the UK, find what resources are available to support children’s mental health from the NHS at this link for children and this link for parents and carers.

The following helplines are available to children as well as adults, and have professionals to support you if you need it:

Samaritans – 116123

Rethink – 0300 5000 927

Mind – 0300 123 3393

Youngminds – 0808 802 5544

Child Line –  0800 1111

 

There is a list of more specific situational helplines available here.

 

Teachers & Parents: 

Twinkl is an amazing online resource for those teaching children at any age. From lesson plans to mental health activities, it covers all ages and brings together online resources for many young people going through homeschooling.

 

Australia

Kids Helpline – Website – Phone 1800 55 1800
Free, private and confidential 24/7 phone and online counselling service for young people aged 5 to 25

 

Canada

Kids Help Phone – Website – Phone 1-800-668-6868

 

New Zealand

Kidsline – Website – Phone 0800 54 37 54

Skills utilised:
News

Hub World – Loneliness

Hub World – Loneliness (January)

Welcome to Hub World! Each month I will be discussing a topic we have been reflecting on throughout the month and how we, as a community, tackle it in our daily lives.

Loneliness and isolation is a complex feeling that comes in many forms, rather than it’s strongest association of being physically alone. You can feel lonely surrounded by hundreds of people, or even within a group of close friends and loved ones. This might be because you feel like you are unable to connect with those around you on an emotional level, which in turn leads to putting on a social mask in order to interact with others in the day to day – so as not to feel like a burden to those around you.

Last month at Safe In Our World, we thought about loneliness, the impact it has had on us and those around us and how we have tackled this feeling – particularly during the pandemic.

During this time, one of the most important things for me was to find a way to reconnect with my mum, who lives alone and has had a tough few months. When I was young, we used to play video games together – or she would watch and experience a game’s narrative with me. That’s something that we have been missing since we began living apart, so I hatched a plan to bring her back into that world via the Nintendo Switch and online play in Animal Crossing.

I spent several hours over Christmas setting up an ‘event space’ on my Animal Crossing Island, filled with presents and decorations. Once my mum had received the Switch, we spent time talking over the phone as she learned the basics of the game and after a couple of days I brought her to my island, where she was surprised with a variety of goodies! It’s one of the best decisions I have made during lockdown and it has been a joy to see her re-engage with games again and for us to be able to play together like we used to.

Antonela Pounder

Our ability to go wherever whenever has been taken away from all of us, which I’ve found brings about a feeling of loneliness, even if you don’t live alone. Forming new friendships with others through current friendships has been incredible. We basically now have our own online support bubble where we talk about anything and everything (but try to avoid COVID chat!) Calls almost every evening has helped hugely, whether this be on Discord or using PlayStation parties, as well as engaging in online multiplayer gaming sessions together. Regular communication has been key, whether it be with friends, family and/or colleagues.

Marie Shanley

As the world deals with loneliness caused by the isolation of the pandemic, the advice that I have given out over and over on the channel is to check out streaming platforms and try to connect with others who share your interests: whether that’s gaming, knitting, painting miniatures, or anything else really.

The best thing is seeing people find lasting friendships, as they are connecting with others through various platforms. My stream is centred around mental health discussions, so friendships are forged through helping to support others with similar mental health concerns.

Richard Lee Breslin

It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do and how many people you have around you. We can (and have) all experience loneliness in our lives.

Despite being a happily married man with a wonderful son, I can still feel lonely. I have a tendency to lock my troubles away in the back of my mind and my reluctance to talk can isolate me despite being surrounded by loving people. During times of the global pandemic we can be cut-off from seeing loved ones and friends. Thankfully we have modern day technology and social media at our call.

Social media has played a huge role in our lives pre-pandemic but now it’s more important than ever. If there are some positives taken from this pandemic, it’s made me cherish those smaller moments and I’ve even gained some great friends.

I know it may feel difficult at times not being with friends and loved ones, but if you can, don’t cut yourself off from your world. Let your loved ones and friends know that you’re thinking of them, because they’ll be feeling the same about you too.

Harry Burton

Loneliness can easily creep up on you, I have personally found that it can be the first step leading to a downward spiral – usually leading to less focus on caring for your own mental health and wellbeing needs.

Something which has helped me considerably is Digital Fitness through social media and applications such as Peloton and Nike. No matter your equipment or goals there are communities to help you stay focused, spread positivity and offer advice. Particularly on Facebook and Strava I have connected with new people through the shared vision of reaching our goals.

You’ll find people are eager to listen and support you through the pursuit of staying active!

The Demented Raven

Whenever some of my friends have had a rough day or feel alone, we decide to play video games to brighten up our day. One of these games is Overwatch and it always ends up with wholesome laughs, silliness, banter and pure joys of friendship. Video games have the power to really help people reach out and are a reminder that you’re never alone. 

Featured Recommendations:


Emma Withington is a freelance writer and PR account executive at Bastion who has worked on campaigns for a variety of titles, including Control and Final Fantasy XIV: Online.

She is currently spending time focusing on the wider community and how she can help others through her personal journey with mental health.

Twitter.

Skills utilised:
Covid 19, News

SafeMentaliTee

Over the 20th – 22nd November, Seven Squared launched a campaign in support of Safe In Our World, called SafeMentaliTee.

Across the weekend, gamers came together to share the positive impacts that video games have had on their mental health. Stories were shared through social media posts, videos, or streams across the duration of the event, to celebrate gaming in a positive light and how it can support mental health as a whole.

The weekend raised over £2,000 for Safe In Our World, through donations and t-shirt sales, which is just amazing. Below are some of the inspiring stories that have been spoken about over the weekend, in the effort of encouraging more conversation around mental health.


“For as long as I can remember, mental health issues have been a part of my life. It’s a challenge to get an accurate diagnosis unless you fit a particular box, and at 29 years old I have finally been diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) (and chasing ADD). The escapism provided by videogames can relieve some of that need to ‘escape’ in more destructive ways. It built friendships and gave me a community of people that I shared a major part of my life in common with, where I struggled with that in my local community. It gives many people their ‘tribe’ – this is very true of streaming too. During lockdown, streaming videogames has helped us because it nurtures a social life, creates and sets challenges, goals to focus on, and we’ve been able to support so many causes (like this one!). Video games have made me laugh, cry, fall in love, be in awe, reconsider, empathise, feel better about myself, feel clever, make hard choices, gain skills, reconnect and most of all – made me who I am.”

Scumm & Villainy


“I’ve found recently I’m playing more video games than ever, they allow me to engage with fellow gamers & talk about the 

things we enjoy/how I’m feeling, on a safe platform. For me personally, I find that video games are a great form of escapism, especially in these stressful times of uncertainty.”

~ Ant Stream Arcade


“Gaming can be a force for good, transport you somewhere different and make you feel good about yourself. When I was young during my birth something went wrong and it ripped apart my upper arm, it never properly healed, because of this I missed out on a lot and got quite a lot of abuse for this, it emotionally and mentally affected me as I got older, it was challenging. I was brought up on a musical mindset from my mother and ended up going into a more computer game direction. When I felt low from school or any of life’s tough moments I’d distance myself and listen to music and play video games which cemented all of my love in everything and provided the escape I needed.”

~ Bean Hed


“Mental health is more important than ever and games have personally helped me through the years.”

~ UKNESBoy


“This weekend I supported the Squared Seven #SAFEMentaliTEE campaign for mental health and the positive effects games have had for people – they’ve certainly helped me!”

~ Kim Justice


GAMING SAVED MY LIFE…IT PROBABLY SAVED SOMEONE ELSES TOO!!! Games were my escape, they were the one place I could be in control, where I couldn’t be hurt and all of life’s problems faded away. I could come home from school and put on my Spectrum or eventually my MegaDrive and shut out the world around me. I remember loading up Head Over Heels, Seymour Goes to Hollywood, Operation Wolf, Treasure Island Dizzy, 180 Darts and more.

~ Mental Health Gaming


“Sometimes it’s about being a part of something bigger, that lets you open up and be honest with yourself. Having a community of people around you who aren’t afraid to discuss difficult topics with you is so important because it’s so easy to internalise these things and suffer because of it.”

~ Rosie Taylor


“For me, video games have actually been a lifesaver as on numerous occasions I have had issues with my own mental health, especially during the pandemic. Mental health is not something to be brushed under the carpet! It’s a serious issue and video games do help. Stop this stigma! Even without the pandemic, individuals suffer from their mental health and it can affect anyone. There have been times where I’ve felt lost, alone and unable to cope. It’s horrible to feel like you are also a burden to others. Your mental health is important! #SAFEMentaliTEE. Do not feel like you are wasting people’s time if you are suffering. You have every right to ask for help and it doesn’t make you weak. Never feel like you are not worth it. And if you are worried about someone, check in on them – they will appreciate it”

~ Chazie


“A lot of people don’t know my struggle but video games have helped a lot. I was never great in school when young, never cared for it. I’d get involved, but the older I got I started getting sick when I’d enter the place. I had no idea why, and things were getting out of control. I’d go to the nurse, I’d call my parents and say I’d need to go home and as soon as I left I was perfectly fine. I would go home play games, do whatever and I felt fine. People around me kept thinking I was making it up, I got frustrated, I didn’t understand, I got depressed, I couldn’t participate in things I loved with friends and I got angry as-well. I lost friends, respect of my family, it felt like everything was falling apart, I was so angry I’d sadly take it out on others. I turned to video games and the more I played the better I felt, I started making friends again, ones I still have today and became part of communities, it saved me and became a huge part of my life, I then met my partner Jambo through Twitch gaming and life couldn’t be better. Gaming can do so much for people.”

~ Anthony

 

 

Skills utilised:
News

Safe In Our World Joins The Jingle Jam 2020

Safe In Our World are happy to announce that we will be a part of the Jingle Jam 2020.

From the 1st to 14th December, the Jingle Jam will see streamers across the globe raise funds for 12 causes via The Jingle Jam 2020 Games Bundle. More details will be announced soon about the 40+ games and in-game items that will be available!

We will be joining 11 other wonderful charity projects chosen to be part of #JingleJam2020 :

Access Sport

British Games Institute

Call of Duty Endowment

ILGA

Mental Health Foundation

One25

Open Bionics

Special Effect

The Grand Appeal

War Child

and Whales.org


Safe In Our World Project:

The money raised by the Jingle Jam will fund the creation of Community Managers courses, which we will deliver free of charge to the video games community and industry. We must ensure that we equip those who interact directly with gamers, with the knowledge to be able to support their communities through awareness and mental health first aid. Community Managers are the frontline who interact with gamers regularly, and must be able to offer and signpost the appropriate support and awareness around mental health.

We would like to thank everyone involved in putting this together, and we’re excited to see the event kick off in December.

Keep up to date with all things Jingle Jam on Twitter.

Follow the official Jingle Jam livestreams in December.

Skills utilised:
News

Coffee Talk

In Coffee Talk, players will listen to various character’s modern-day problems in a unique fantasy setting. 

Set in an alternative Seattle, you’ll encounter all sorts of problems: from a love story between an elf and a succubus, to an alien trying to understand how humans live. 

Coffee Talk encourages players to open up, listen and talk, using a visual novel with a deep narrative to keep the conversation going.  

Key Features

  • Help people solve problems through talking
  • Unique 90’s art style
  • Encourages conversation
  • Fantasy setting reflecting real-world issues

Skills utilised:
Games & apps

LevelUpMentalHealth: How a Supportive Work Place Helped Me Overcome My Mental Health Challenges by George Osborn

When you’re having a problem with your mental health, having a workplace that understands what you’re going through makes a world of difference to how you overcome it.

I learned this the easy way, fortunately, when I joined Ukie. I know that in terms of my public persona it’s reasonable to say that I project a certain amount of confidence, of happiness, optimism and care for others – especially in work situations.

But when I joined Ukie as their Head of Communications last year, my mental wellbeing felt far away from the outward contentment that I was projecting.

Last July, my life briefly broke apart. A long term relationship ended; I moved to London to live by myself for the first time; I then started a fantastic, but high pressure, job while I simultaneously wound down my business.

It was, in truth, a bit much. But initially, I didn’t engage with how I was feeling mentally. I constructed some defence mechanisms to keep me going in the short term. I then studiously ignored what felt like a burgeoning spot of darkness hovering just over my shoulder for as long as humanly possible in the hope it’d just go away.

By September, though, it wasn’t possible any more. A hard-working August (as all are in the games industry) and a fairly hard partying one had not washed away my feelings. Instead, I was increasingly weighed down each morning as I dealt with feelings of sadness, guilt and anxiety.

It prompted me to go and seek private help from a therapist. It’s something I’ve done before and found great value in. After all, if you’ll go see a doctor because you’re feeling physically unwell then it makes perfect sense to talk to a therapist to bring some clarity to your state of mind. Straight forward enough, I think.

Previously though, I had been able to see a therapist completely on my own time. I was self-employed on the last occasion I sought help, which meant that I could simply pick a time during the day and build my work around it.

Having just started a ‘nine to five’, I worried I might not be able to do something similar. I was concerned I would either not be able to get the help I needed at all (work comes first etc) or that I would have to cram it in around the working day in an uncomfortable way.

That’s where having a workplace with a culture of understanding mental health issues worked so well for me. I chatted with my boss extensively about my life circumstances and took the opportunity to tell her how I was feeling. I then asked if I could, quietly, book out an hour from 9-10 on a week day to have my sessions, mark it as private time and remove it when I felt ready to.

She agreed on the spot. With that came such a wave of relief. This wasn’t just caused by the fact that I could get the help I needed to at the time. It was also caused by the feeling that I was working in an environment where my mental well-being was catered for and where something sensitive to me would be managed humanely.

In the end, the arrangement didn’t last very long. The fact that I had been to therapy before, felt ready to talk and, fortunately, spoke with someone I clicked with meant I was able to come out the other side of it in three months.

However, it wasn’t the length of the experience that mattered to me. Instead, what mattered to me was that I felt I had room to deal with my mental health issues without feeling like it affected anyone’s perception of me. I was still George, I was just handling some personal stuff.

Since then, I’ve had the best working year of my life. It hasn’t been easy – it never is, unfortunately – but I’ve been able to work on a number of major campaigns and initiatives that have made a difference (including to other people’s mental health.) And I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that I wouldn’t have been able to do all this without the support I received when I needed it.

So, when you’re thinking about how you can make your workplace as welcoming as possible, always, ALWAYS think about what you can do to foster an environment where someone feels able to talk about – and take actions to improve – their mental health.

A small act of kindness from a thoughtful boss made one of the toughest years of my life much more bearable. If you can make where you work similarly kind, I encourage you wholeheartedly to do so.

Ukie has signed up as a partner to Safe in Our World’s #LevelUpMentalHealth pledge to create workplaces with an environment that is safe and supportive for their team’s mental health. You can sign up your business here: https://safeinourworld.org/level-up/

Skills utilised:
Stories

Safe In Our World: 1st Anniversary Charity Bundle

To celebrate our first anniversary, we are releasing our very first charity bundle dedicated to providing free Mental Health CBT courses for games industry professionals and gamers around the world. The Safe In Our World  1st Anniversary Charity Game Bundle is available now exclusively via the dedicated partner Fanatical for $4.99 / £4.65. Only 10,000 sets of keys are available for this extremely limited edition bundle.

The Safe In Our World 1st Anniversary Charity Game Bundle features seven games, each sharing a unique and relatable message about mental health:

  • AVICII Invector by Tim Bergling aka AVICII / Hello There Games
  • Dear Esther by The Chinese Room / Curve Digital
  • Fractured Minds by Emily Mitchell
  • GRIS by Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital
  • Meadow by Might and Delight
  • RiMe by Tequila Works / Six Foot
  • The Town of Light by LKA / Luca Dalco

Proceeds from the 1st Anniversary Bundle will go towards the creation of Safe In Our World’s own tailored, games-focused Mental Health CBT courses, which will provide much-needed mental health support at no cost to games industry professionals and gamers alike.

CLICK HERE for the complete bundle on Fanatical

CLICK HERE to download our bundle assets

The 1st Anniversary Bundle celebrates an amazing inaugural year in which Safe In Our World has made a significant impact on the games industry, thanks to support from wonderful partners. Since the launch last year on World Mental Health Day, the global non-profit organization has been able to:

  • Launch the hugely successful #LevelUpMentalHealth campaign featuring over 50 leading and indie games developers/publishers, including 505 Games, the Embracer Group, Wargamer, Curve Digital, NDreams, Mediatonic, Wired Productions, and many more; supporting 10,000 employees. (A full list of partners can be found here)
  • Further grew the SIOW ambassadors and patron list, with close to 100 key influential members of the industry representing the charity
  • Launch the COVID-19 Hub, a global resource set up at the beginning of the pandemic to help gamers and industry folk with information, tips, articles and resources, with traffic increasing by 146% from over 130 countries
  • Help to drive support for 1 million downloads of Fractured Minds, a game developed by BAFTA young game designer recipient Emily Mitchell
  • Reach 10 million players through messaging in key partner’s games
  • SIOW spokespersons join panels and events participation to help talk about mental health conditions within the industry, as well as sharing the touching, personal stories of many games industry professionals and their mental health through safeinourworld.org
  • Hire two full-time staff members, each with their own passionate stories, to further increase the impact and support within the games industry
  • Become a fully operational organization in less than 12 months

“2020 has been such a trying year for us all, but we are so proud and thankful for the impact Safe In Our World has been able to make in our industry so far,” said Leo Zullo, Safe In Our World Chairperson. “We now look to 2021, expanding our team and opportunities, as well as further increasing awareness, access and positivity towards mental health and mental health facilities in the games industry. Our message remains the same; it’s ok to not be ok. We have a duty of care to our gamers and our people and we implore the whole industry to unite and ensure this is considered at all times.”

Safe In Our World will continue to build and grow its support for those in need, and more announcements will be made as we head into our second year.

Skills utilised:
News

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