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Safer Together: Thank You

On May 1st 2021, we launched our very first #SaferTogether fundraising campaign as part of Mental Health Month, in an effort to raise awareness of our mission, encourage positivity, playing together and reaching out for support.

The fundraiser spanned the whole month of May, with Safe In Our World All-Star Community streams within the first week. 

Safer Together raised over £23,000 in total, which will make a huge difference towards our future initiatives, investing in the evolution of the charity and allows us to continue in our mission. 

Thank you to everyone who supported us through streaming, donating, sharing, playing with us, or watching the multiplayer chaos ensue over the month of May. We’ve seen some amazing examples of how games bring us together, and can support our wellbeing through opening conversations that are challenging to have, through the medium of games.

We’ve clipped together some of our highlights of the last month, through community streams that we were lucky enough to participate in, or dip into. If you have clips that you’d like to share from your #SaferTogether streams, tag us on social media and share with us, we’d love to see!

We kicked off Safer Together by talking to a wonderful panel alongside Ukie’s Raise The Game to discuss the ins and outs of imposter syndrome, how it affects us, and what we can do about it. This panel was recorded, and you can watch the panel discussion here.

Special Thanks

Though every single person who supported the campaign is incredible, we’d like to give a special thank you to the following people who went above and beyond to support the charity within Mental Health Month.

Corsair, Curve Digital, Embracer Group, GameByte, Good Vibes Gaming, Hannah Rutherford, NZXT, OPMJobs, Playground Games, Raccine Malcolm, Ripstone Games, SevenSquared, TkLayla, Wired Productions

& everyone who got involved with the Safe In Our World Community Streams! 

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

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

Safer Together: Safe In Our World Launches Community Focused Discord

We are delighted to be launching our very first public Discord server, Safer Together.

Looking to join Safer Together? Click here or go to discord.gg/safertogether

 

Safer Together will launch during the London Games Festival and continue beyond, with the purpose of providing a public platform for gamers and industry folk to connect, find players, discuss games, and be a safe space for all to talk or find resources.

“Opening up the mental health conversation further will also be a strand for the festival as it partners with games industry charity Safe In Our World on its new Safer Together Campaign.”

We’re excited to be a part of the Festival to show our support for diversity and innovation within the industry, and be able to launch such a timely campaign for so many who are looking for a safer space to connect with fellow gamers.

The Discord won’t be to talk exclusively about mental health, though it is welcomed as part of general conversation to continue to reduce stigma. The purpose of the Discord is to create a safe community where like-minded people can connect about video games and other hobbies.

We must also highlight that this server is not run by any medical staff or qualified mental health staff. We have a dedicated resources channel to support in signposting to professional support. If you need help you can follow this link that provides helplines from around the world.


About the London Games Festival

Games London has one mission: to make London the games capital of the world.

We do this with a year-round programme of support for local businesses, engagement with investors and funders via inbound and outbound trade missions, and delivery of the world’s biggest games festival.

Skills utilised:
News

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