A number of video game professionals have united to form Safe In Our World, “a unique mental health charity” for the video games industry with the mission 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”.
Launching today, on World Mental Health Day, the new, accredited organisation aims to raise awareness of mental health issues “among gamers and creators, and affecting positive change within the video games industry”.
With over 50 per cent of the world’s population playing video games and one in four people globally affected by mental health issues, the organisation says while the task is daunting, it is committed to driving “forward initiatives to support and help players around the world”.
Having worked to create “a haven for gamers and others” since 2017, the new charity has been founded by gaming industry veterans Gareth Williams, Leo Zullo, and Neil Broadhead, with involvement from Aaron Cooper and Al Hibberd, and is sponsored by a range of organisations, including Microsoft, Wired Productions, and Curve Digital. It says it “welcomes the interest of video game developers, publishers, service providers, and content creators in how they can support the charity”.
To mark its launch, Safe In Our World has partnered with 2017 BAFTA Young Games Designer award winner, Emily Mitchell and Wired Productions to publish Fractured Minds, a new game coming to Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One for £1.59 / €1.99 / $1.99. The game depicts Emily’s “personal journey through mental health issues and reflects the true spirit of the positive effects that video games can have on the lives of players”. 80 per cent of all profits from the game will be “split evenly” between a private fund for Emily’s future and to support upcoming Safe In Our World initiatives.
“The video games industry creates worlds for a huge number 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; we can actually make a difference,” said chair and trustee, Leo Zullo. “Safe In Our World is the first step in these efforts, and we’re delighted with the response within the industry and the partners and individuals who are joining this initiative.”
“There’s so much work to do in both awareness and the changing of attitudes within our industry, as well as within the communities we create and serve,” added Gina Jackson, trustee for Safe In Our World. “Safe In Our World takes its first steps today, and we’re delighted that Emily has allowed Fractured Minds to support the charity. It’s such a poignant experience, and one we’re humbled she’s allowing us to share with the world in aid of Safe In Our World.”
The website, www.safeinourworld.org is online now.