Few groups have the power to work together towards positive change like the video gaming community, and a new game jam set to kick off early next month has set its sights on positively addressing mental health. A collaboration between DeepWell DTx, founded by Devolver Digital’s Mike Wilson, and Global Game Jam, the upcoming May Day Mental Health Game Jam challenges developers for the best of causes.
The May Day Mental Health Game Jam is set to kick off on May 1, 2022, and run through May 22, 2022. The event will task participants with creating and executing game design ideas that fit within the following criteria:
- Demonstrate how video game themes and mechanics can be utilized as treatment mechanisms
- Help dispel misconceptions and social stigma related to openly discussing and addressing mental health issues
- Build community that works to connect and support those suffering from stress, anxiety and depression
During the course of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the trendlines surrounding worldwide mental health challenges have increased at a brisk pace. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) projects that one in five people in the United States receive a mental illness diagnosis each year and as many as one in two people will receive a diagnosis of a mental health issue in their lifetime. The real costs of not addressing mental wellness in society are enormous with impacts including job instability, workplace stress, and online harassment. Addressing mental health challenges by providing treatment and support is essential to the overall health of the human race.
“The environment of a game jam is the perfect place for exploring and experimenting with new ideas and approaches to problem solving. And as the world’s largest game jam event, the Global Game Jam is thrilled to see our community create games around this critical topic,” said Kate Edwards, Executive Director of the Global Game Jam.
Interested parties can sign up for the May Day Mental Health Game Jam today at the promotion’s official website. Registration will remain open even once the event begins on May 1, but all submissions must be entered prior to May 22, 2022. Prizes will be awarded to the winners, though the details of the prizes have not yet been formally announced.