The Australia and New Zealand based non-profit organisation CheckPoint not only has a great name, but also is embarking on a great cause! The CheckPoint Series will be a webseries that aims to help people going through mental health difficulties through the power of video games. A Kickstarter campaign has commenced to raise funds for this important project. CheckPoint is an organisation which acts to connect mental health resources with video games and technology for gamers and developers and providing information regarding game therapy.
“If we get funded, we’ll produce a high quality, 16-episode series to raise awareness for mental health issues, reduce stigma, and improve the wellbeing of people all over the world. And we’re going to use games and game culture to do it.” states Dr Jennifer Hazel (founder and Executive Director, CheckPoint).
The webseries is a first of its kind and will feature evidence-based advice from mental health professionals and stories from those in the gaming industry including developers, journalists and content creators.
“I first became familiar with Dr. Jennifer Hazel’s work after watching her presentation from the 2017 Game Developer’s Conference entitled ‘Invent a Game, Reinvent Yourself.’ As someone who not only plays video games, makes video games, and dealt with a nasty panic disorder, the presentation spoke to me – and it’s something I wish I’d seen back in 2001, when I was going through the worst of it.” said Josh Scherr (writer of the Uncharted series for Naughty Dog). “Feelings of shame, fear, and helplessness are all too common among those suffering from mental health issues; often, it makes taking that first step towards seeking help incredibly difficult. Easy to access resources, such as this video series, are often invaluable in helping people get past that initial hurdle, and as such, can be life-changing (if not outright life-saving).”
The Kickstarter campaign will end on the 3 June and will include ‘The Monster Marathon Fundraising Stream’ (Twitch.TV; 19-21 May).
For anyone seeking urgent mental health support, Switchboard is a free telephone and web counselling, referral and information service for the Victorian and Tasmanian lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) communities and their supporters, and LifeLine provides a confidential telephone crisis support service available 24/7 from a landline, payphone or mobile.