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July: Exercise, Nutrition and Sleep

This July, our monthly theme is shifting to the trio of exercise, nutrition and sleep.

We know that these three things, when kept in check, can give us a boost in our mental wellbeing. But how can we use games as a vehicle to learn healthier habits?

This month, we’re going to be exploring the concepts of how games can promote healthy living, both physically and mentally. Through game highlights, podcast discussions, articles, resources, analogies and more, we’re going to work through it together.

And we’ve got a hell of a schedule waiting for you! Take a look.

Here are just some of the things you’ll be seeing from us this month:

Making video game foods with Rosie and Sky [Stream] – we’re going to be tackling the fan favourite butterscotch cinnamon pie from Undertale, and it will be chaos.

Games highlights

Gaming for Good with Karla Reyes [Podcast]

A Fairer Games Industry with Rami Ismail [Podcast]

Nature for Wellbeing Exclusive Partner Training

DIGIPRIDE Panel with Gayming Magazine

How VR breathing game DEEP helps with sleep, anxiety and long-COVID

Finding Balance: Can a person in ED recovery participate in exercise and focus on eating a healthy diet?

Planned vs impulsive behavior with Paul Fletcher [Podcast]

Transferring virtual care to in real life self-care using concepts from The Sims


So, stay tuned, keep talking, and most importantly, stay Safe In Our World.

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Custom Pronouns in the Sims 4 with Momo Misfortune (Safe Space Podcast Season 2, Episode 2)

In this episode, Rosie and Sky chat to Momo Misfortune. Momo is a Twitch partner who is known for streaming The Sims, as well as campaigning for pronouns in the Sims, and a founder of YOUphoriaTV which is stream team focused on uplifting the voices of Nonbinary and Gender Non Conforming creators on Twitch.

We discuss the incredible causes such as Able Gamers, Trans Women of Colour Collective that they have supported, and the campaign Momo made for adding pronoun options into The Sims 4 which had almost 25,000 signatures before it became a reality.

Momo talks about It Gets Better as an Ambassador and their connection with The Sims 4, and also about their experience with chronic illness and how it affects their mental health.


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Minecraft, Medication and Matching Outfits with Sky (Safe Space Podcast Special Episode)

In the latest special episode of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie chats to our latest team member Sky.

We talk about loneliness, and how Minecraft was a big part of helping combat it during a time where Sky and their partner were living far away from each other. We also delve into Eating Disorders, Self Harm and Medications and how conversation around such topics is fundamental to reducing the stigma.

Of course, there is cat talk, specifically that Sky has a matching outfit with her cat Jerry. Sky opens up about their work in the cinema industry in Saudi Arabia, and how she has got to where she is today in championing mental health for Safe In Our World.


Sky’s Twitter

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How to Tell Meaningful Stories Through Games with Paula Angela Escuadra (Safe Space Podcast Season 2, Episode 1)

In the first episode of Season 2 of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie talks to Paula Angela Escuadra about her vast experience within the game development space where she has broadened the conversation around inclusivity, representation, sustainability and climate consciousness.

We talk about the importance of using games to portray important messages, and how it differs from messages within more static media such as films and books, and what steps developers can take to implement these messages in ethical and proactive ways. We also discuss the effect that video games can have on player’s introspection and identity, and how it can act as a support mechanism to those who may often feel unsafe to be themselves in person.

Click here to listen!

There are two people in the foreground (Rosie and Paula), between them is a Audio waveform graphic in white and the text 'Safe Space', with a white siow logo at the bottom. There is a forest with light flickering through the trees in the background and a SIOW Pink wave shape at the top.

About Paula
Paula Angela Escuadra (She/Her) has spent +12 years elevating the power games have to redefine our relationship with failure and create meaning. She leads research for Xbox Game Studios Cloud Publishing, helping developers make great games that foster meaningful communities. She co-founded IGDA Climate Special Interest Group, co-authoring its newly released Environmental Game Design Playbook. She’s also on Cologne Game Lab’s advisory board with a focus on unlocking sustainability competencies.
(Lastly, she’s a very strong advocate for community care, psychological safety, and dog cuddling as a form of self-care.)


Want to listen to more episodes of the Safe Space Podcast? Check out the full list of episodes at this link

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From Filmmaking to Inspiring Change with Benn Wiebe (Safe Space Podcast: Meet the Team)

In this special episode of the podcast, Rosie talks to our new Strategy and Corporate Partnerships Officer; Benn Wiebe!

Benn has an incredibly varied and interesting career, from working on the Twilight film (!) to the United Nations. He talks about his passions in moving into the video games space, and actively pushing for positive change for topics such as environmental action and improved mental health support. These creative industries have the power to drive forwards positive change and make a real difference using a loved medium such as film or games.

Listen to the episode here.

About Benn

Benn Wiebe has been a social impact strategist and producer who has lived across the United States, Denmark, and the UK. As the executive producer of HF Productions Benn has overseen a global series of film festivals that champion vast perspectives and international narratives, and has advised or consulted for organizations across film and games including Netflix, The United Nations, Sony Pictures, Sybo Games, Count Us In, Vice Media, Yea! Impact, Global Environment Media, Climate Crisis Hub, and SIE Society. He is a member of the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences, Producers Guild of America, Playing for the Planet Alliance, and the IGDA Climate SIG.

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From a Game of Minecraft to a Best Man’s Speech with Alex King (Mental Health Month Podcast Special)

In this special episode of the Safe Space Podcast for Mental Health Awareness Month, Rosie talks to Alex King, Community Manager from Ripstone.

Alex and Rosie discuss the power of games communities, and in particular how Alex found his friendship group of 12 years through Minecraft.

There is also a wasp related incident that occurs mid-recording so, um enjoy? Rosie was very frightened.


Alex’s Twitter

Ripstone – Alex’s Story

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Existential Anxiety and how FFIX Helped Liam Wilson (Mental Health Month Podcast Special)

In this short series of stories as part of Mental Health Awareness Month, Rosie talks to Liam Wilson from Sock Monkey Studios about his journey in mental health, and how supportive workplaces are foundational to supporting our teams and employees.

We also discuss the power of FFIX in Liam’s story and how a story arc within the game helped with his existential anxiety during a particularly difficult time in his life.

Listen to the episode here.

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How Experiencing Addiction Changed My Life with Grant Hill (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 20)

In the season 1 finale of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie talks to Grant Hill, esports caster for Race to World First for Method and occasional streamer.

He’s previously delved into esports journalism, as well as casting for Starcraft II.

In this episode, we discuss Grant’s journey, including how he was introduced to Safe In Our World, and the recent Race to World First Tournament. Grant opens up about his struggles with addiction, and how it has affected his career and life over the years, including his recent overdose and subsequent path to recovery.

We also discuss the issues surrounding mental health within the esports realm, and how he thinks we could start to change the culture for the better.


Grant’s Twitter

Race to World First


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Special Effect, Cosmic Hearts and Through Our Eyes with Paige Harvey (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 19)

The penultimate episode of Season 1 of the podcast is here!

In this episode, Rosie chats to Paige Harvey about her incredible work with the gamers charity Special Effect and the annual Gameblast event that unites gamers each year in support of the charity. Paige also discusses their work in Charity Stream Team Cosmic Hearts, which is a team of content creators devoted to raising funds & awareness for vital causes close to our hearts while championing safe, diverse & inclusive spaces online!

We also discuss Paige’s work in Through Our Eyes through podcasts and streams, and the inspirations behind it.



Special Effect

Cosmic Hearts

Through Our Eyes

Paige’s Twitter

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Mental Health Marathons with Mindset By Dave (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 18)

In this episode, Rosie talks to Mindset By Dave (Dave Cottrell) about the concept of mental health marathons.

Dave is a content creator, mindset coach and fellow podcaster! He talks about his journey into becoming a Mindset Coach and Mental Health Educator, and his previous work in challenging the stigma, including in schools. The main focus of the podcast however, is around Dave’s upcoming fundraiser and mental health marathon.

Instead of running a marathon of miles, Mindset By Dave is hosting a marathon of mental health interviews. A 36-hour stream with 36 different guests. All streamed live via Twitch, raising mental health awareness as well as vital funds for Safe In Our World.

We talk about the stigma of mental health challenges vs physical challenges, how we can listen to ourselves to provide the best self care that we can, and promote positive mental health whilst challenging ourselves.


Dave’s Twitter

The 36-hour marathon fundraiser

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Stress-relieving games and games industry stories with Jake Kulkowski (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 17)

In episode 17, Rosie talks to Jake Kulkowski about his role at Dead Good Media, his podcasts with Wired Productions and Special Moves, and his career path into the video games industry.

We also focus on what games we go to for our own stress relief, and the kinds of titles that enable us to relax, including the discussion around why some gamers find escapism within horror titles. We discuss Jake’s mental health story, and some of the games that mean the most to him.

Episode 17 of the podcast, there are 2 bubbles with Rosie and Jake, in the background there are controllers and small Isaacs from Binding of Isaac

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Content, Community and Inclusivity with GeekyCassie (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 16)

In this episode, Rosie chats to the lovely GeekyCassie; who is one of the most wonderful creators on Twitch, Director of Nox Lumina, Co Founder of Black Twitch UK and the Community Manager for the Noir Network!

We discuss mental health through content creation and the pandemic, as well as the return to events through Cassie’s recently announced Nox Lumina (an events company dedicated to catering to everyone’s needs). We talk about the importance of groups such as Black Twitch UK, and the Noir Network, and how Cassie is uplifting other creators through these fantastic initiatives.


@GeekyCassie Twitter

The Noir Network

Black Twitch UK

Nox Lumina

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How Games Like Chicory and Celeste Can Help Us with Mark Flynn (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 15)

Episode 15 is here, and Rosie chats to the lovely Mark Flynn about all things content creation with a generous sprinkle of wholesome games.

In this episode, Rosie is joined by Mark Flynn, PR & Community Manager at Numskull Games, PR and Marketing Manager at Lost In Cult as well as a content creator on YouTube!

Mark delves into his passions about mental health, his current projects, and his journey into the games industry. We talk about Hoa; a delightful Ghibli-style puzzle-platformer, Chicory; a painting adventure indie, and Celeste; a challenging side-scrolling platformer with mental health themes.

We cover some of the challenges surrounding content creation, especially during Covid-19 times, and what we do to take care of ourselves when these issues arise.



Mark’s Twitter

Mark’s YouTube

Numskull Games

Lost in Cult




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Epilepsy Awareness within the Games Industry by Charlotte Callister

On March 26th, we released a podcast episode with Charlotte about the effects of epilepsy on mental health, and how it ties into video games.

You can listen to it at this link. Charlotte also wrote a compelling article to accompany this podcast, which is below; we want everyone within our industry (and beyond) to be more aware of epilepsy, and how you can play your part to support those who have epilepsy.

March 26th is Purple Day; a day where people across the globe raise awareness about epilepsy. With nearly every video game advising those with epilepsy to consult a doctor before playing, we wanted to take a closer look at what it’s like to be a gamer who has epilepsy.

I’m Charlotte, the Platform Coordinator for PressEngine and I have epilepsy. I’m not the only one. Dan, Senior Editor at Thumb Culture and Iain, Writer and Games Reviewer at Thumb Culture also have epilepsy.

It can get tiresome when people just assume you can’t do something because you are labelled as Epileptic.

When you hear the word seizure do you automatically think of someone falling to the floor and shaking? This is called a Tonic Clonic seizure, and it isn’t the only type of seizure. There are multiple types, and you can learn more about the types experienced here, via the Epilepsy Action website.

“My seizures range from night-time seizures, where I will shake for 10-15 seconds and the only time I am aware of it is in the morning.” says Iain. “I also have absence seizures, where I will blank out for up to ten seconds. This can be in the middle of conversation or just at random.”

A photo of Dan from ThumbCulture

Image: Dan from ThumbCulture

Dan is currently seizure free but remembers the days of having regular Tonic Clonic seizures well. “I have lived with Epilepsy for 18 years and have always had tonic-clonic seizures. When diagnosed, I was terrified, I was having life threatening seizures with no known triggers or auras.”

Another stereotype about Epilepsy surrounds photosensitivity i.e., seizures being triggered by flashing lights. Only 3% of those living with epilepsy are photosensitive and whilst it’s important for people like myself who are photosensitive, there is a lot more to epilepsy than people may think.

“The biggest myth for me is the whole ‘you can’t play it; it has flashing scenes’ thing.” Dan elaborates “Whilst Epilepsy is known for strobe lighting triggering seizures, not everyone who lives with Epilepsy has this trigger. Don’t get me wrong, it is fantastic that gamers alike are pointing stuff like this out, but it can get tiresome when people just assume you can’t do something because you are labelled as Epileptic.”

Iain continues “Epilepsy isn’t a one stop shop, not everyone falls to the floor shaking. Plenty of people can play games we just need to be more careful than others.”

“I don’t feel like there is enough awareness surrounding Epilepsy in the gaming industry, but I don’t think that there is any malice in this either.” Dan reflects “Epilepsy isn’t widely talked about as much as it should be. However, having said that I think the games industry does cover Epilepsy more than a lot of the other industry’s due to the nature of the media it is putting out there for consumption.”

“I feel it has improved dramatically on what it was even 5 years ago.” Iain adds “However, there is a long way to go.”

The one thing that has made living with Epilepsy easier for me is surrounding myself with amazing people and talking about it.

“Could the gaming industry do more?” Dan asks. “The answer is yes. But is the gaming industry making moves in the right direction? The answer is also most certainly yes.”

When I asked Dan how epilepsy impacts playing games for him, he was very honest “I am very fortunate that Epilepsy doesn’t impact my gaming too much, however what it does affect is my personal gaming aspirations. Epilepsy has left me with low confidence and this impacts what I can do at Thumb Culture. I would love to be creating video content, I just don’t feel like I am there yet.”

A photo of Iain from ThumbCulture

Image: Iain from ThumbCulture

Iain on the other hand has a different experience “Having Epilepsy means I am more aware of myself. I take regular breaks and ensure that I sleep. I used to do 24 hour fundraising, however, it now isn’t worth the risk especially as being stressed and tired are some of the biggest triggers.”

“24-hour gameathons for charity!” Dan agrees “I would love nothing more than to game for this long and raise awareness, but unfortunately, that would probably put me in line for a first-class ticket to Seizureville.”

In his day-to-day role, Dan is a Lead Developer, and this impacts how he sees accessibility in games “If I could change one thing about the games industry in terms of Epilepsy accessibility, it would come in at the development stage of a title. When it comes to Epilepsy, more and more developers are taking on board things like photosensitivity. However, I still feel that there could be a lot more done in this space. For example, Epilepsy Mode; Enabling this would remove any flashing imagery. This function could replace strobe effects with either some text to say that it’s been replaced or a standstill image.”

Iain agrees “I would change the understanding. My memory is massively affected by my seizures, and that affects every part of my life, including games. More accessibility options need to be added to help people with Epilepsy. I would also like to see studios backing Purple Day and spreading more awareness.”

“The one thing that has made living with Epilepsy easier for me is surrounding myself with amazing people and talking about it, despite how difficult it can be.” Dan adds “If anyone out there reading this does need someone to talk to regarding Epilepsy then I am always open. I know it can be a journey of extreme highs and lows, I am always willing to listen and where I can, give help.”

So, does having epilepsy impact gamers? It’s a reasonable enough question but not easily answered, at least not broadly. Epilepsy is as individual as the person who has it and it is so much more than just seizures.

With any condition, learning to live within its limitations are vitally important. However, no one should be precluded from involvement or enjoyment of an activity; understanding epilepsy is as important for those suffering, as it is for those supporting sufferers.

1 in every 100 people here in the UK have epilepsy, and with the games industry growing every day, many of those people will be consumers who play or others will work in the industry. Purple Day provides a fantastic opportunity to find out more about this condition and ultimately ask yourself the question:

What can I do to make my game or content more accessible to those with epilepsy?


Skills utilised:

Epilepsy and Mental Health with Charlotte Callister (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 14)

In this episode, Rosie is joined by Charlotte Callister, ‘New Impacts’ MCV/Develop IRL Award Winner 2021, disabled queer gamer and Press Engine Platform Coordinator.
We’re releasing this episode on Epilepsy Awareness Day or Purple Day, to support the awareness and dispel common myths about it.

Charlotte opens up about the effects of epilepsy on her life, and how she games with that in mind. She also dives into the effects of bullying on mental health, as well as the experience of being pregnant with epilepsy.
As a relatively new addition to the industry, Charlotte also talks about her experiences in joining the games world, and how she got to where she is today.

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Borderline Personality Disorder and ADHD with Charlotte Rouget Murphy (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 13)

In this episode of Safe Space Rosie chats to Char; Distribution Manager at Bossa Studios, as well as an Ambassador for Special Effect and Safe In Our World.

Char opens up about what it’s like to work in the games industry with BPD/EUPD and ADHD, and how they intertwine with her wellbeing. She talks about her fantastic work supporting charity through streams, including recently Gameblast, and previously for Safe In Our World.

We discuss our all-time favourite titles, our relationships with games and mental health, and how employers can better support those with mental health conditions. Char highlights the importance of becoming an active campaigner for mental health and representation.


Char’s Twitter

Special Effect

Bossa Studios

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Do I Look Like a Gamer with Nigel Twumasi (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 12)

In Episode 12 of the Safe Space Podcast, Rosie talks to Nigel Twumasi from Mayamada about his latest campaign: Do I Look Like a Gamer, and the importance of representation and diversity in games. We discuss the stigmatisation around the word “gamer” and the general associations with the word, and touch on how attitudes are changing around gaming and mental health.

Of course, we have to talk games, and I won’t lie… a small (large) portion of the podcast may have focused around God of War and we have zero regrets. IT’S TOO GOOD.

Please go check out the links below on Nigel’s work!



Do I Look Like a Gamer 

Nigel on Twitter


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Streaming & The Samaritans with Rach Henderson (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 11)

In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie talks to Rachel Henderson from the Samaritans.

Rach is the Streaming and Gaming Fundraising lead for the Samaritans, creating a unique position in combining the world of streamers with vital awareness for the Samaritans. We talk about The Night Shift Before Christmas, where creators fundraise over shifts as the volunteers at Samaritan Volunteers do on helplines, and we share stories over the highlights of working with charities and the communities we are involved in.

If you need support, the samaritans can be reached at 116 123 or

Rach’s Twitter


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Eliana Zebro and #AudioIndustryGame (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 9)

On this episode of Safe Space, Rosie is joined by Eliana Zebro, creator of the recently released #AudioIndustryGame and audio professional in media projects.
We discuss the motivations behind releasing the game, which tells the stories of marginalised gender folks and their experiences within the audio industry; including stories referencing discrimination and harrassment. 
Eliana discusses their personal experiences in working as a marginalised gendered person within the audio industry and how issues are rife across creative fields. We highlight the importance of being able to tell these stories to promote positive change and transparency to those who can push for improvement from a more privileged position.


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Autistica, Mass Effect & EDI with Dom Shaw (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 8)

On this episode of Safe Space we welcome Dominic Shaw from UKIE’s #RaiseTheGame pledge as our latest guest.

In this episode we talk about Dom’s life; from games he enjoyed growing up through to the games industry introduction and eventually him settling into UKIE. We also go into depth about LGBTQ+, autism, dyslexia and support within the industry, as well as the journey he took to get where he is today. Dom also talks about his work with Autistica Play.

As always, we grill our lovely guest on his all-time favourite games, and talk about Dom’s love for the Mass Effect series and how he used to skip school just to experience BioWare’s ever-growing Universe. We also go into depth about the impact that video games had in Dom’s life.

You can find Dom here on Twitter.

Follow the Safe In Our World Podcast here on Twitter for clips, updates and guest interactions!

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Safe Space Podcast in 2021: Wrapped & Reflected

Today feels like a good day to sum up our Safe Space Podcast in 2021! The Safe Space Pod discusses the games industry and the link between games and mental health through hosting a variety of wonderful guests. Let’s look at what we covered so far, shall we? 

To kick the podcast off, we wanted to introduce our listeners to the Safe In Our World team, the aims and mission of the charity and some insight into why we’re passionate about the conversation surrounding mental health within the games industry and beyond.  Favourite games were discussed, our roles within the charity were explained, and the purpose of the podcast was unveiled. 

Episode 2 was a wonderful discussion with Ambassador Mxiety on her work in broadening the conversation around mental health on Twitch, and the impact of sharing our own experiences and struggles in bringing communities together.

We were joined by the brilliant Robin Gray for Episode 3, where we explored LGBTQ+ representation in video games, the LGBTQ+ struggles that are faced in the industry, and a host of useful resources and support groups that are making change happen.

In Episode 4, we spoke to Charity enthusiast and Patron Hannah Rutherford (Lomadia) on her incredible achievements in fundraising on Twitch. We may or may not have discussed some early Mario quests, shouty cats and the struggles that content creators face on a daily basis.

In Episode 5, we were joined by Raccine Malcolm to talk about the importance of embedding DEI and representation within the games industry, as well as our favourite mental health related titles.

Episode 6 saw Rosie chat with Shahid Ahmad about Code is Just. Shahid discusses how he first entered the world of game development and the struggles that he has faced on the journey; such as bullying, racism, illness and poverty.

And last but not least, our latest episode, Episode 7 with Adam Clarke! We talk about his experience as a carer for his sister and her passion for games. We cover Hot Fuzz, Irish accents and our most impactful games over the years.

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Wii Fit, Irish Accents and Caring for a Loved One with Adam Clarke (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 7)

In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie is joined by Adam Clarke from Game If You Are!

We talk about Adam’s personal reasons for getting into the games industry, which include talking about his experience as a carer for his sister and her passion for games. We cover Hot Fuzz and the accuracy of the levels of Irish accents within Adam’s world, which is surprisingly similar.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Safe Space podcast without discussing games themselves, would it? Adam takes us through his most impactful games over the years, and the implementation of creating real choices for players to pave their own paths in games such as The Walking Dead and Disco Elysium.


You can find Adam here on Twitter.

Follow the Safe In Our World Podcast here on Twitter for clips, updates and guest interactions!

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Code is Just with Shahid Ahmad (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 6)

In this episode of Safe Space, Rosie is joined by Shahid Kamal Ahmad for a fantastic discussion covering Code Is Just, imposter syndrome, game development and personal growth. We go from games industry history to jeopardising relationships in Monopoly, and it’s worth the ride. Shahid is in his 40th year of working in the games industry, and discusses how he first entered the world of game development and the struggles that he has faced on the journey; such as bullying, racism, illness and poverty.

Links Mentioned in the Episode: 
Episode 6 of the Safe Space Podcast with Shahid Ahmad

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Exploring DEI, inclusivity and diversity with Raccine Malcolm (Safe Space Podcast Season 1 Episode 5)

This week we were delighted to have Raccine Malcolm on the Safe Space podcast!

Raccine is a communications professional that specializes in empathy-driven, engagement-based community development and management. Multicultural awareness, belonging, DEI, mental health, along with the interconnectedness of communities are some of her deepest interests and driving forces behind her work. We are delighted to have Raccine as a Safe In Our World Ambassador, championing mental health within the games industry alongside us. 

On this episode, we discuss the importance of incorporating DEI into companies and communities, promoting inclusivity and diversity within the games industry and how mental health fits into these topics. We also chat about our favourite mental health related titles, including Raccine’s all time favourites such as When the Darkness Comes and Sunshine Days.

You can check out the episode over at Anchor.FM where we have all of the Safe Space Podcast Episodes ready for you to listen to.

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