The Andrews Labor Government is embarking on a creative new approach to reduce homophobia in the community by employing the techniques and technologies of digital games.
Leading Victorian games studio, Mighty Games, has partnered with the Victorian AIDS Council and Victoria University to create an engaging digital app that will give players of all ages insights into the experiences of LGBTI people and the prejudices and discriminations they can face.
Research shows family acceptance is the biggest factor influencing the health and wellbeing of LGBTI people and this project will provide a new way for families and others to approach these issues.
The fun and immersive gamified app will see players navigate through experiences faced by LGBTI people in order to build understanding, modify behaviours or change perspectives.
Gamification is the use of games techniques and processes to engage and motivate people to change behaviours. This gamified project takes its inspiration from Metro Trains’ award winning Dumb Ways to Die campaign which incorporates a series of fun games with serious messages about rail safety.
Mighty Games, which creates its own titles and globally popular games for entertainment giants such as Disney, has established a new company – Mighty Serious – to deliver this project and other gamification projects that aim to bring about positive change.
Serious games is a significant growth area for the digital games industry, with Victorian companies working on games that support dementia care, Indigenous literacy, even vocational training programs for astronauts at NASA.
The Mighty team will work closely with the Victorian AIDS Council and researchers from Victoria University to develop the project which will be free to download and is expected to be launched in late 2018.
The project is supported through the Labor Government’s Combatting Homophobia initiative which sought ideas for creative projects aimed at countering LGBTI discrimination and homophobia in the community.
The initiative was part of the Government’s Creative State strategy, to support creative projects that deliver social benefits. Previously supported projects include a short film program to enhance mental health outcomes and a contemporary music project to engage at risk youth.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Creative Industries and Minister for Equality Martin Foley
“Creativity can play a powerful role in promoting understanding, and this project is one of the ways we are working to bring about positive social change for the LGBTI community and for all Victorians.”
“We look forward to working with Mighty and the project partners to create a game which will be available to people across the state, the nation and the globe.”
Quote attributable to CEO of Mighty Serious Alan Gibb
“The Mighty Serious team is excited about applying the techniques we use in games to make a positive change. It’s the start of something we hope will deliver great outcomes for Victoria, improving the world, one game at a time.”