A Game Design Project from the G4C Student Challenge
By Amaryllis, Sasha, and Gabby
Middle School Students from Mouse @ Stephen A Halsey JHS 157 Q
About this Project:
The topic we chose to make a game about is Resilience Through Games. This topic focuses on the importance of mental health, especially because of this pandemic. To achieve our goal of educating people on how to increase their happiness, we did lots of research to produce our game. If people play and enjoy their game, not only will they be happy but the people they share the game with will also enjoy that happiness.
Self Care Simulator shows ways to help your mental health, especially during the pandemic. People that play this game can see different activities that can increase their happiness. This theme is important because many of us are going through hard times this pandemic and finding ways to cheer ourselves up can make a big difference. To play our game, you need to select your character and click on the tasks that will improve your happiness. When you increase your happiness, you have to fight a final boss for 15 seconds to win. Self Care Simulator provides links and resources to better understand how much your mental health is important during these times.
In conclusion, we think our game can help young teenagers like us to understand that mental health and self-care are extremely important, especially during these times. Not a lot of people treat themselves when they’re feeling down, particularly when there is so much stigma surrounding mental illnesses. For some, it is hard to comprehend the number of young people struggling secretly. Our game can reach out to them, since it was created by young teenagers that get what others are feeling.
Feedback from the Judges:
Saul Einbinder 👏 Technology Lecturer at Self-Employed — Emoti-Con Judge
You've recognized the importance of mental health, and thought through a unique way to engage us and help us stay mentally healthy. Nice work! Can you share something you learned from your research so that we could learn along with you? The game is fun. Maybe it would be cool if I could customize it a bit, perhaps letting me put my own activities in the room. The Boss level was great! I played it a lot :)
Kathy Rutherford 👏 Biomedical Engineer at Engineering Field — Emoti-Con Judge
I love that this project acknowledges, and tries to address, the issue of depression and mental health challenges during the pandemic. I love that it de-stigmatizes depression by acknowledging it as normal and providing gamification of ideas to uplift mood and provide balance. Great work!! Putting mental health into a game really defuses the stigmas and providing ideas of activities for mood uplift, reminds the users to take action if they can. I would like to see more diverse characters to be chosen and I would like to see more activities (including going into the sunlight, or singing...) as an option. I liked the game as well, even the challenging ending. Well done!
Laura Eley 👏 UX Writer at Spotify — Emoti-Con Judge
I'm a fan of anything mental health. It's a really complex topic and I think you found a really interesting way to address the topic. I think it would be cool if the character selection was based on mood. So like if I'm feeling sluggish maybe my character is a sloth and then the self-care activities are based on that mood. I love to see you all amp up the personalization, people love when things directly relate to their in the moment emotion.
Jessica Hochman 👏 Assoc. Visiting Prof & Educator/consultant at Syracuse University & We Need 2 Talk — Emoti-Con Judge
Thank you for creating a game that addresses mental health issues in a way that is approachable and warm, but doesn't shy away from the seriousness of the issue. Depression and mental health struggles have been such a real part of this pandemic moment for many teens so it's great that your game addresses it in a way that appeals to your target audience. I also like that through games, we can exercise a level of autonomy and playfulness that can sometimes seem difficult in real life, especially when we're feeling blue.
I'd love to see more character choices, maybe some more diverse human characters, and more animals while you're at it (why not?!). And in future iterations, maybe you can add even more activities that combat depression; they might serve as suggestions for players who are looking for strategies to use in their own lives. Thank you for providing helpful links as resources for folks playing the game. I loved your design choices, too. Using bright colors and clean design is like a breath of fresh air, which feels just right for this topic.
Feedback from the Community:
👏 a Middle School Student
I thought this was a interesting project and you chose a very good topic.
Ariella 👏 a Middle School Student
This is truly an amazing game! This really showcases self care and how important it is for our mental health! You definitely did it in a fun way that interests a lot of people! Great job!
Vidhi 👏 a Middle School Student from Queens, NY
I really like this game, because it was is fun, but carries such a strong message on self-care. I also like that I was able to pick my own character and there were resources at the end. It is a cool game!
Nayeli 👏 a Middle School Student
I liked the design
Naomi 👏 a Middle School Student
I loved your game. All the slides were very colorful and entertaining.
Caressa 👏 a Middle School Student
The game was really educational as well as entertaining. They had the perfect balance of spreading awareness while also creating a fun game to enjoy. Great job!