Today’s world has seen a rise in mental health issues. The rates of suicide and depression have increased, even with access to great technology. For some, video games are a coping mechanism, and a medium to tell their story, and explore their pain.
Several games tread these waters carefully. Titles like Life is Strange and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice comes to mind. A handful of groups from around the world have helped spread awareness of these issues to bigger audiences. Safe In Our World is one such organization. Based in England, Safe In Our World works with gamers and developers to promote positive messages about mental health.
In a recent announcement made by this group, they have joined up with multiple industry leaders taking on Patron roles: Jo Twist OBE, Kate Edwards, and Doug Cookie.
About the new Patrons
Jo Twist is one a leader of the Creative Industries in London, receiving her OBE in 2016, and sits as CEO of the trade body for UK games Ukie. Jo says this in regards to joining the organization:
I’m delighted to support Safe in Our World, a charity that will play a vital role in the future of our industry for both players and creators. We all have mental as well as physical health and we need to look after both
Kate Edwards is a veteran and advocate of the game industry. She has consulted for companies like BioWare, Google, Amazon, and more. In 2018, she received Reboot Develop’s Hero Award as well as IndieCad’s Game Changer award. She will also receive GDC’s Ambassador Award this year. Kate says this about Safe In Our World:
I’m a huge believer in positive mental health advocacy across our industry, and am beyond enthusiastic to expand those I’m able to assist as I continue my role with Take This, while also bringing that experience to Safe in our World.
The last person, Doug Cookie, is an American Actor, Director, and Acting Teacher living in the UK. He worked in a variety of projects, ranging from theatre works and film to video games and corporate video. He worked as the Course Leader for the BA Acting degree at Arts University Bournemouth from 2005 and 20017. His most recent work in the video games industry is for portraying Geralt of Rivia in The Witcher series of games. In regards to joining Safe In Our World, Doug had this to say:
As a long time gaming professional, I’m honoured to be involved with Safe in our World. Mental health is of paramount importance, and I aim to do all I can to take the message that nobody is alone to as wide an audience as possible.
What This All Means
This is a net gain for the group. This provides Safe In Our World with more people to influence a change for the good. It is one step forward to progressing in their goals; to come together and start a serious conversation about mental health.
It is fantastic to see what this organization that, in just three months, has gained the support of industry and mental health professionals, as well as several other gamers and streamers. Not only this, but they have also partnered with companies like Microsoft to make their goal just that much closer. Overall, I see great things for this group, and I will be keeping an eye on it.
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