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Gaming for Change

April 10, 2014

Healthy Minds Canada (HMC) has developed a prototype for a fun, scenario-based app about bullying, designed to improve (and measure) empathy while teaching coping and preventative skills.

Conceived to help the 9-16 age group, HMC’s aim is to provide a safe, online tool to nurture a process of thinking about experiences that helps the user explore, learn, build resilience, and become a responsible, compassionate citizen in their offline lives.HMC game

A key, but obvious, finding from HMC’s work in hosting pan-Canada Youth Summits over the past five years – where results have clearly shown that young people are very eager to talk about and learn about mental health issues – was that young people have smart phones, use them constantly, and love games.

So HMC decided to create something that can combine a teen’s passive coping skills – such as tuning out and playing video games – with active coping skills which include learning strategies that help actively process the physical and emotional stress that is part of life.

To raise funds to develop the app, HMC has turned to cowdfunding and an Indiegogo campaign is now live.  HMC would like the public to spread the word in person and online to friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and social media communities

Of course, there’s the donations. Donations start at $1. A $75 donation gets a person listed as a donor to the project in HMC’s Annual Report.  But there are in between and higher levels, too.

Empathy is a key skill in leadership and HMC wants to help young people become effective agents of change in their communities – and what a better way to do that than through a game.

To learn more, please visit the webpage for the game.

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