In an effort to deter adolescents from using and misusing opioids, game development company Schell Games is working in conjunction with the play2PREVENT (p2P) Lab at the Yale Center for Health & Learning Games to develop a digital game that will serve as a resource in the fight against youth opioid addiction. Due to the rise in opioid use among adolescents, play2PREVENT and Schell Games will create an interactive teaching tool that captures the power of videogame engagement and incorporates components of effective substance use prevention programs. The goal is to develop an evidence-informed intervention that curtails the start of opioid misuse in adolescents.
No strangers to the educational gaming scene, Schell Games and p2P previously partnered to bring forth PlayForward: Elm City Stories, a game whose goal is to provide at-risk young teens the opportunity to acquire and practice skills for risk reduction and HIV prevention. For this upcoming title under the PlayForward umbrella, Schell Games will work closely with p2P to provide players with behavioral skills and knowledge through engaging videogame play, targeting adolescent perception of risk of harm from initiating opioid misuse.
Putting its game design expertise to good use, the Schell Games team will assist in developing a mobile gaming experience that not only draws in players, but also informs and educates them on drug addiction.
Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games said, “We’re very proud to be part of such a courageous initiative and are thrilled to lend our game development knowledge and experience to assist in opioid addiction prevention.”
This project is being funded by a grant from the National Institutes for Health through The Helping to End Addiction Long-term, or the NIH HEAL Initiative. Launched in April 2018, the NIH HEAL Initiative aims to improve treatments for chronic pain, curb the rates of opioid use disorder and overdose, and achieve long-term recovery from opioid addiction.