Devs, mental health educator team up for WellBeings

first_imgDevs, mental health educator team up for WellBeingsNew company sets sights on mobile games to help players cope with anxiety, panic disorder, and chronic painGamesIndustry StaffThursday 24th January 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareA new publisher has opened its doors, and it will dedicate itself solely to games that address wellbeing issues, GamesIndustry.biz can reveal.Fittingly named Wellbeings, the company will publish mobile games that focus on self-care, exploring issues such as chronic pain, anxiety and depression.For the co-founders, this new business is personal. The project is a collaboration between Playora founder Matt Spall, Get Better Games CEO Mark Ripley, and mental health educator Craig Fearn, and each is well acquainted with the ways people can struggle with mental health issues.Spall used to suffer from chronic anxiety, Ripley’s wife uses games as a form of pain relief, and Fearn has dealt with a variety of mental health issues going back to his childhood.”I grew up with it in the era of ‘What do you mean you’re depressed?’, ‘There is nothing wrong with you!’, ‘Man up!’ ‘I get sad too!’ No help or understanding at school none from the medical community or family,” Fearn told GamesIndustry.biz. “This followed me through all levels of school, university, and employment (although by that point it had progressed to ‘We have a leaflet on that you can read that will make you better’).”If this wasn’t enough at the age of 24 or so I was diagnosed with Chronic Cluster Headache which has presented as a 3-hour long attack at levels described by clinicians as ‘The worst pain a person can experience’ that has occurred every day since.”Fearn said his own experiences with mental health issues and disability led him to try to help others in that position and set up Lighthouse Mentoring four years ago. When that effort started to grow, he moved it into a proper office that happened to be in the same block in Cornwall where Ripley had been working.”It’s important to us from the outset to not try to build a ‘one size fits all’ solution that a lot of other developers endeavour to create” Mark Ripley”I’ve been working with various healthcare companies over the last three years, producing games and apps promoting healthcare solutions, as well as being involved with clinical trials,” Ripley said. “When Craig knocked at my door it seemed an obvious next step to combine our experiences to produce something new, unique and exciting.”Ripley already knew Spall, who at that point had been searching for an opportunity to work on health-focused game projects ever since he had found games helped him manage his chronic anxiety at its worst.The three decided to realize their ambitions in the form of WellBeings, an “e-health” company which they say “focuses on the individual, not virtual therapy.””It’s important to us from the outset to not try to build a ‘one size fits all’ solution that a lot of other developers endeavour to create,” Ripley said. “On this basis, our plans are built around a suite of games that individually address conditions. Using game mechanics on a per-condition basis means we can target a number of disorders without the complexity of addressing them all in the same product. An important consideration here is that in some conditions there is significant variance within that condition, and where we can we are building in customisation to allow the user to adjust the content in a way that is person-centered.”From left to right: Mental health mentor Craig Fearn, and games industry veterans Mark Ripley and Matt SpallDespite that aversion to a ‘one size fits all’ approach, WellBeings is understandably concerned with accessibility. That’s one of the reasons it’s going to focus its efforts on mobile games with easy-to-understand mechanics.”In today’s fast-paced, permanently-interconnected society, mobile technology forms a large part of the average individual’s connection with the world,” Fearn said. “Its ease of use, portability and the ability to access content anywhere at any time means that mobile technology in many respects shapes the world that we live in. Other game platforms, such as console and PC, while offering significantly more game-centric focus, aren’t constantly with the user, and constantly on.” Spall added, “Another factor we considered is around transient connectivity. While the games we make will connect to a central server when they can, they will all run independently of an internet connection, ensuring that anyone using them to assist with a disorder will always have access.”Beyond directly benefiting its players, WellBeings hopes it can help improve things for anyone suffering from mental health issues simply by increasing awareness and understanding.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games “The only way stigma can be addressed is through the removal of negative attitudes towards those suffering from mental ill health, which we aim to address through our products,” Fearn said. “However, through the unique way WellBeings is approaching this issue, we aim to deal with internal stigmatisation as well. “In the first instance, the games we produce are designed to appeal to a broad audience, not just those suffering from mental ill health. With this approach, we hope to reduce the internal stigmatisation people feel when using a product specifically targeted at a condition by including mechanics to assist those that need help, as well as to engage those that don’t, removing the discrimination that can create internal stigmatisation.”WellBeings was recently awarded a grant from the EPIC Challenge Fund, and Spall said the company is eager to explore a variety of funding options.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Mobile newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEpic vs Apple – Week One Review: Epic still faces an “uphill battle”Legal experts share their thoughts on the proceedings so far, and what to expect from the coming weekBy James Batchelor 11 hours agoEpic Games claims Fortnite is at “full penetration” on consoleAsserts that mobile with the biggest growth potential as it fights for restoration to iOS App StoreBy James Batchelor 14 hours agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

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Study: Americans are more likely than Chinese to want to be ‘a big frog in a small pond’

first_imgPinterest LinkedIn Share Share on Twitter Share on Facebookcenter_img Email Culture matters it comes to being a the big frog in a small pond or the small frog in a big pond. New research has found that Americans would rather be remarkable in an average place, while Chinese would rather be average in a remarkable place.Psychologist Kaidi Wu of the University of Michigan, the study’s corresponding author, told PsyPost that she was interested in the topic for two main reasons.“It is hard to imagine going through life without having to make frog-pond decisions: which school to go to, which internship to choose, which company to work for,” she explained. “What we end up choosing has downstream consequences and may significantly alter the paths of our lives. It is no surprise that this topic has interested sociologists, economists, and educational psychologists for decades. However, although these studies tell you how you would feel after you’ve joined the “pond” of your choice, I have always wondered how people come to these decisions in the first place.” “Which brings me to the second reason. It’s a well-known adage in the West that ‘it is better to be the big frog in a small pond.’ I grew up in Shanghai, and I wasn’t really familiar with this idiomatic expression until I arrived in the U.S. Nonetheless, I am well aware of frog-pond quandaries each time I encountered them. “What’s interesting is that cultures around the world have come up with a myriad of metaphors,” Wu continued. “They all recognize the same decision dilemma, but have different ways of going about it. The Chinese have a saying that ‘it’s better to be the head of a chicken than the tail of a phoenix’, whereas the Koreans sometimes acknowledge ‘it’s better to be the tail of a dragon than being the head of snake’. Be it the ‘Frog-Pond’ or the ‘Chicken-Phoenix’, these adages paint a kaleidoscopic canvas of decision-making that is culturally informed. And I thought it would be interesting to explore the diversity in frog-pond decision-making rather than just proffering a universal solution.”In their three-part study, Wu and her colleagues found that Americans were more likely than Chinese to prefer being a “big frog in a small pond” rather than a “small frog in a big pond.” When given the option of attending a top 10 ranked college while having below-average grades or attending a top 100 ranked college while having above-average grades, Americans tended to choose the second option.The study, which was published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science, examined 888 students and working adults from the U.S. and China.“We often hear about the touted benefits of being the ‘big frog in a small pond.’ But the choices we make are the products of our culture. The next time you are faced with a frog-pond dilemma, take heart that there is not one right way of choosing; nor is there a universal standard of a single rational decision to be made,” Wu said.“It is easy to have preconceived notions about cultural differences. In the psychological literature, it has been long known that East Asians (the ‘collectivists’) tend to attune to a collective self embedded in social groups, whereas Westerners (the ‘individualists’) tend to focus on an individual self as a distinctive agent. So if we just look at the overall pattern that Chinese are more likely to choose the big pond, it is tempting to think Chinese don’t want to be the big frog as much as Americans, because as a collective whole, Chinese may not want to engage in social comparison within the pond in order to preserve social harmony.”“But that was not the case. The real reason Chinese go for the big pond is that they are more concerned about prestige.”“The caveat here is that as we draw cultural delineations, it is easy to end up with a reductionist way of construing opposing schemas: West – individualism, independence, analytic thinking; East – collectivism, interdependence, holistic thinking. But cultures are complex, porous, dynamic, ever-changing,” Wu told PsyPost. “Although it might be intuitive to conjure up collectivists who are cooperative and less inclined to compare themselves with others, they are not. In fact, we found Chinese are much more likely to engage in social comparison than Americans. Other qualitative accounts have also revealed strong desire to compete and achieve even within one’s pond (you may have seen the ‘Asian grading scale’ meme – A is average, B is bad, C is crap, F is find another family).” “To fathom any cultural phenomena, we need to delve into the social structure and historical underpinnings of the culture of study, and be willing to entertain possibilities beyond the individualism-collectivism dichotomy. Otherwise we might end up with an impoverished understanding with a specious reasoning.”“If cultures across the globe differ in their propensity to choose the “big pond”, what does this mean as the world becomes more globalized and when cultures interact? Over the past ten years, U.S. colleges witnessed a dramatic 85% increase of international students, a majority of whom hail from Asia. Coming from cultures that place a heavy emphasis on prestige and obtaining an elite education, it makes sense for Asian internationals to vie for the big pond. “In fact, many Chinese international students have gone to great lengths to get into (or help their children get into) top U.S. colleges,” Wu told PsyPost. “But what appears to be a culturally normative choice in China may not be one in the U.S. If you look at top executives at Fortune 100 companies from 1980 to 2011, the percentage of those with an Ivy League undergraduate degree has decreased. If you didn’t come from a big pond, you can still do well in life. “This doesn’t mean that people should give up on their pursuit of the big pond all together, but it pays to think twice about consequences of being the small frog: sinking to the bottom of the class risking being expelled, language difficulties, mental health struggles. At the end of the day, is it worth choosing the big pond – in a cultural context where big frogs in small ponds can also succeed?”The study, “Frogs, Ponds, and Culture: Variations in Entry Decisions“, was also co-authored by Stephen M. Garcia and Shirli Kopelman.last_img read more

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Gopher Hockey Downs North Dakota 5-2

first_img 360p 1080p HD The Gopher men’s hockey team defeated North Dakota 5-2 in the NCAA Tournament West Region Final at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul Sunday afternoon.  Minnesota scored 3 2nd period goals.  Taylor Matson scored the game-winning goal for the Gophers.Minnesota advances to the Frozen Four for the first time since 2005 and will play Boston College in Tampa, Florida Thursday April 5 at 7pm, pregame on AM 1390-the Fan at 6:30.  AM 1390-the Fan will also broadcast the Union (New York) vs Ferris State Frozen Four National Semifinal at 3:30pm on Thursday April 5. 720p HD Auto (360p) 1/1 Visit Advertiser website GO TO PAGE Skip About Connatix V56892 About Connatix V56892last_img read more

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WNST announces Live Shows with Ravens players to benefit Living Classrooms this week

first_imgWith the extra time off this week and the passion for all things Baltimore Ravens being at a fever pitch, WNST.net proudly announces a few “bonus” live shows this week as part of “The 13 Days of Purple Fu-stivus” as we caravan around town with some great events that we hope you’ll attend and help with the cause to raise money for Living Classrooms Foundation.Beginning Wednesday night, you’ll have a chance to come support WNST and the Ravens with some player apperances, radio shows and the general revelry that goes with a bye week earned by the team in Cincinnati on Sunday.Here’s the lineup for the week. All shows begin at 7 p.m.Wednesday (free show) 7 pm — Bryant McKinnie at The Mallet
 in Fallston with WNST.netThursday ($40 admission includes full dinner) — Torrey Smith & LaQuan Williams at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood in Dundalk
 with WNST.net crew. (To purchase tickets call 410-633-4040 email [email protected])Friday — (free show) 7pm — Dennis Pitta at Bill Bateman’s Bistro in Perry HallWe will be recording all of these shows for WNST.net & AM 1570 and we hope to see your face in the place as we bring the spirit and enthusiasm of Festivus — or in this case “Fu-stivus” to Baltimore football fans around town this week.last_img read more

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Doha 2019: MoS Inaugurates Committee To Review “Abysmal Performance of Team Nigeria”

first_imgMinister of Youth and Sports Sunday Dare on Monday, at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Abuja, inaugurated a nine-person committee to review Nigeria’s performance at the recently concluded 2019 World Athletics Championship, Doha, Qatar.The Committee on the Participation of Athletics Federation of Nigeria at the 2019 World Athletics Championship will among other things, “appraise the causes and factors responsible for the abysmal performance of the Team Nigeria of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria” in Doha and propose measures to “ensure improved performance of Nigeria’s Athletes at major Championships.”The committee will have one week to carry out their function and turn in their report.The Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN) came in for criticism after what many perceived to be a poor outing in Doha where the country’s contingent only returned a bronze medal won by long jump queen Ese Brume. The AFN was also involved in an administrative mixup that nearly cost Divine Oduduru and Blessing Okagbare an opportunity to compete in Doha.AFN technical director Sunday Adeleye was recalled from Doha and issued with an official query as a result.Part of the committee’s function will also be to “evaluate and advise on the response of the Technical Director of the AFN, Mr. Sunday Adeleye, to the query issued to him.”Addressing members of the committee at the Minister’s Conference Room at the MKO Abiola Stadium, Dare said the disparity in the performance of Nigeria’s athletes in Doha and the 12th Africa Games in Morocco where Nigeria led the Athletics medal table was cause for concern.He wondered why other African countries who had been bested by Nigeria in Morocco were able to perform much better and finish with more medals than Nigeria at the World Championships in Doha. The committee, Dare said, would help the Ministry work towards “mitigating the unpleasant experiences of Doha in order to avoid future reoccurrences,”.“The concern of the Ministry on the performance of the AFN athletes is underscored by the fact that Team Nigeria of the AFN at the 12th Africa Games held in Morocco in August 16-31, 2019 led the Athletics Medal Table with 23 medals comprising 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 6 Bronze,” Dare said.“Kenya occupied the 2nd Position with a total of 20 medals comprising 10 Gold, 7 Silver and 3 Bronze. However, at the Doha World Athletics Championship, Kenya came 2nd in the overall medal table and 1st Position in Africa with a total of 11 medals while Nigerian achieved a distant 9th Position to Kenya with a win of only a Bronze medal.“The countries of Ethiopia, Uganda, Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Morocco and Namibia all came above Nigeria in Africa.”“Hence the logical question to ask is, was the performance of our athletes at the 12th All Africa Games a fluke?” Relatedlast_img read more

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