Square Enix partners with Centrepoint to raise awareness about homelessness and young people

Square Enix has announced its partnering with UK homeless charity Centrepoint to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by homeless young people in the UK “at a crucial time of year” through its character-driven teen series, Life is Strange. 

The developer/publisher said that as part of the partnership, it will continue “to promote Centrepoint’s ongoing campaigns through Life is Strange channels during December, along with an awareness driving livestream with a selection of partner content creators”.

“Life is Strange as a series has provided players with a glimpse into slices of life they may have never even considered, and has provided awareness of a great number of issues faced by young people in our society, creating some truly inspirational conversation among players,” said Jon Brooke, co-head of Studio at Square Enix External Studios. “In Life is Strange 2, the Diaz brothers are cast out on their own, dealing with issues many homeless young people face on a daily basis. We know that Life is Strange fans are passionate about the themes they encounter in the game, and so by partnering with great organizations like Centrepoint, we hope to provide a way for them to get involved with helping share the message that there are places young people can turn in times of hardship.”

“When Square Enix approached us, and introduced us to Life is Strange 2, we were incredibly impressed by the game’s portrayal of homelessness among young people,” added Paul Brocklehurst, head of helpline at Centrepoint. “Sean and Daniel find themselves made homeless at the beginning of the game. And though throughout the story they find places to stay, however, that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a home.

“Being homeless means not having a safe place to call home. We know thousands of young people sleep rough every night, but there are thousands more sleeping on sofas, floors, night buses or with strangers – these are the “hidden homeless”. And it’s far more prevalent than people think – in fact 73% of young people we recently surveyed said they had sofa surfed as they had nowhere else to stay and 27 per cent spent a night in a tent. 

“Homelessness can be devastating for a young person’s mental health, the majority of young people who come to us have experienced negative mental health and feelings of loneliness. We hope that if you’ve played this game, and been affected by the situations Sean and Daniel find themselves in, you can reach out to us by calling our Helpline on 0808 800 0661 or contacting us online via the Centrepoint website,” Brocklehurst added. 

“I believe the game will encourage people to look into how young people are living these scenarios in reality, and that there are things that can be done to support them.”

For more, visit centrepoint.org.uk/petition/we-will-be-heard.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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