How the publisher of indie horror title The Town of Light begins is helping to raise awareness of mental illness
Wired Productions, publisher of The Town of Light, have begun a year-long campaign to help raise awareness around mental health issues. They have partnered with TakeThis, Inc., a non-profit charity that seeks to educate and inform communities about mental health issues in order to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness.
From August 16 to September 6, 25% of all profits from the digital sales of Town of Light will be donated to mental health charities, including TakeThis, Inc.
Sparking a conversation around mental illness
Based on extensive research and inspired by real facts, The Town of Light is a game from the developers at LKA, and is played through the fictional eyes of Renée, a 16-year- old girl who suffers from the symptoms of mental illness. She is searching for answers to the many questions from her past, while she explores and uncovers the place where she spent most of her youth.
“LKA sought to shine a light on that point in history and to start a conversation around its subject matter - it worked,” said Alasdair Hibberd of Wired Productions. “It made us talk more and more about mental health, its challenges, and the effect it’s had on our lives. This discussion is what really drove us to want to help those in the present day.”
“Although issues concerning mental health are beginning to be talked about more openly, the job of raising public awareness is far from complete,” said Leo Zullo, Managing Director, Wired Productions. “Our aim over the next year is to bring much-needed funding to partners such as TakeThis, as well as other charities operating at local, national and international levels. The gaming community is such a caring collective, and we welcome its assistance in helping us bring these much needed support services to those that need it most.”
“We are honored to be partnering with Wired on this initiative,” said Shannon Gerritzen, Executive Director, TakeThis, Inc. “We tell people all the time that it is okay to say, ‘Today I am not OK.’ This effort helps us amplify that message and we are grateful for the platform.”
The name of TakeThis, Inc. is a reference to the opening sequence of the original Legend of Zelda, wherein the Old Man tells Link, “It’s dangerous to go alone. Take this!” offering him the brown-bladed sword that you to defend yourself for most of the game.
“With Take This we had a great opportunity to work with our shared audience and really amplify the message within the gaming community,” said Hibberd. “The impact of working with a charity like TakeThis made them a natural partner for our campaign and they do some pretty incredible work.”
The TakeThis site has a plethora of mental health resources, including guides on how to find a therapist, the pros and cons of anti-anxiety medications, holiday survival guides for people who suffer from mental illness, and more. They also offer a white paper on how crunch time can damage game company employees’ mental health as well as consulting on how improvements in company culture can promote mental health and greater productivity.