A Game Design Project from the G4C Student Challenge
By Alessandra & Dara
Middle School Students from The Mouse and Girls Who Code programs @ Stephen A Halsey JHS 157 Q
About this Project:
Over the past few months, we have created a game that corresponds with the game prompt, “In the midst of COVID-19 and social distancing, it is more important than ever to connect with friends and family, find ways to manage your stress and take good care of yourself. Make a game that addresses one of these issues.” Our game is called “Self-Care & Improving Our Mental Health”.
Our project includes two mini-games that illustrate how people can use different ways to maintain their self-care. We also included QR codes that the player can scan to view images and animations. The animation is a breathing exercise for the player to complete whenever he or she needs to feel calm or focused. The two images are pictures of how to manage your stress and ways to practice self-care. Additionally, the mini-games included in our project are a Memory game and a Self-Care game. In the memory game, there are 6 pairs that are randomly mixed up. The player is able to find the matching cards that correspond with each other. But, the player has to wait for both cards they picked to return back to the front side before they can pick again. This will allow for any glitches or bugs to be prevented. The memory cards have positive images on the other side of the cards, and have motivational quotes for the player to read and remember. However, the other game called Self-Care shows the player how to only surround themselves with positive energy and not interact with negative energy. The player uses the mouse pointer to control the character and not let them hit any of the obstacles. The obstacles consist of stress/anxiety and negative energy. If the player hits them, then it will be game over and the player will have the option to either try again, start from home, or go to settings.
Furthermore, we also have an information page that informs the player about COVID-19 and the possible symptoms of COVID-19. It also tells the player how to prevent increasing their chances of getting COVID-19. Overall, our game displays the game design prompt, and has special features that better show self-care and mental health during the pandemic.
We included a special feature in our game. We included a code that allows for everything we wrote to be read to the player if they would like. The player would go to settings and press “on” for text to speech. The reason why we incorporated this feature was that we thought the game should not be limited to those who are sighted but allow for the game to be accessible to anyone. This feature also lets people with dyslexia and people who have trouble reading be able to hear the information. Now, they will not feel left out. Scratch is shown as an image, so it is hard for some people to understand a scratch project. In conclusion, our game, “Self-Care & Improving Our Mental Health” shows different ways to manage stress and take good care of yourself, our feature also allows for our game to be accessible to anyone who chooses to play.
Feedback from the Judges:
Carrie Wieteska 👏 Account Manager at Clark — Emoti-Con Judge
I think this is a really great and timely idea, one that goes beyond Covid and speaks to wider issues of anxiety. One thing I think could be added is information about who to contact for help with anxiety, if possible. I loved the self care game especially, it's a good visual reminder to avoid negative energy while also being exactly the kind of game that allows people to zone out and take a moment to relax.
Nelson Launer 👏 Consultant at Deloitte Consulting LLP — Emoti-Con Judge
Great idea and impressive execution of the site! I absolutely love that you've added a Text to Speech option to help those that are visually impaired. I had a lot of fun playing through the games and found myself restarting the Self-Care game over and over. During Covid quarantine, I know a lot of people (myself included) would have greatly benefitted from a site like this. The use of QR codes is very smart as well, and the fact that this was put together by middle school students is insanely impressive! I love everything about this - from the name, user interface, to the design process. Keep up the good work in the future!
Deveena Sood 👏 BFA Integrated Design Student at Parsons School of Design Senior — Emoti-Con Judge
I feel like this is a very timely project! I love the multifaceted nature of the project and how you have thought about different means of self-care. In that way, people are able to explore all but also find one that may resonate the most with them. I personally really liked the breathing one!! I wonder if the QR codes are something you might be able to even put around NYC in places where people stop such as subway stops. That way you can encourage more people to take a 'mindful moment' out of their day. I'm not sure if it was intentional or not but even the colors and design of the interface is quite calming. Great job.
Kathy Rutherford 👏 Biomedical Engineer at Engineering Field — Emoti-Con Judge
I love that you provided a number of pathways to well-being, from positive images to suggestions like yoga to breathing exercises in real time. Well done! There was a lot of thought put into solutions for managing stress and I also like the text to speech option and the QR codes used. I particularly enjoyed the real-time breathing exercise that simply said "Breathe in", "Hold" and "Breathe out". I've been meditating for a year and this simple exercise was perfect for calming the mind. Kudos for a well-rounded project of wellness activities!
Feedback from the Community:
👏 a Middle School Student
It was really cool and useful
sumayah 👏 a Middle School Student
I really like how there different game levels with different options with self care
👏 a Middle School Student from nyc
I liked the topic about self care and how you implemented it into the game.
Rania 👏 a Middle School Student from JHS 157
This is really cool game, it's really wonderful