How the Video Gaming Industry is Pivoting to Address Mental Health in a Post-Pandemic World

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As children try to navigate how to reconnect in the classroom, adults are coping with a variety of post-pandemic symptoms from depression and anxiety, to ongoing isolation, with many seeking relationships in remote work environments. The world has not only changed, it has weakened. The fragility of life and human contact has quickly become a consistent hot topic as conditions of the pandemic continue to set us back with lasting side effects. 

Today, creators are seeking new and innovative ways to reach our communities and to foster the rebuilding of essential connections and emotional well-being. This focus on mental health is critical for a nation that is still seemingly unsure on how to fully move forward, as people are burdened by mental health concerns that are proving to be too difficult to overcome.

This is where video game developers have creatively answered the need with games such as “Lost Words: Beyond The Page,” which deals with grief from the loss of a loved one; “Life is Strange: Before the Storm,” which focuses on depression and isolation; and now Goodville, a farm adventure game developed by Stork Limited, that blends farm simulation with an emotional well-being app designed to improve wellness amongst gamers. Goodville goes even deeper in its approach to combine the gaming industry expertise, with strong scientific research.

Alexey Meleshkevich, Co-Founder of Goodville explains,We believe that games can make a real impact on people’s lives – not only in entertainment, but to truly help. Maintaining emotional well-being is one of the most important and actual aspects of our lives, especially now when the pandemic, war aggression, and overall uncertainty have firmly entered and have become a consistent part of our reality.

Goodville, in a non-obtrusive way (mini-games, dialogues, quests), shows users how to achieve and to normalize emotional well-being with in-game mechanics and actual psychological tests to assess your mental state on a daily basis. This content has been created and evolved by our Science Board, consisting of doctors of medicine and clinical psychology. In addition, we have garnered positive and very constructive feedback from our community members who use Goodville in their actual therapy.”

For the user, Goodville players work to renovate their farm and slowly discover more about Goodville, meeting characters that assist them as they work through in-game challenges, and explore the game’s map. It is available to players on iOS and Android devices, and the title has also proven popular with gamers in the US, Canada, Germany, France and the UK. Since its launch, it has been downloaded more than 1M times.

“We can confidently say, without false modesty, that we have created something unique,” Meleshkevich further added. “Not another hybrid mobile game genre, but an original and already quite successful blend of a classic farm game and an emotional care app. Who knows, but maybe we are on the verge of opening a new niche in mobile applications.” 

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