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G4H 2018 Game Builds Resilience In Teens Facing Health Issues

Image Image credit: Shadow’s Edge by Resonance House, LLC

Games for Health Europe 2018, to be held on 8 & 9 October at TAC (Temporary Art Centre) Eindhoven in The Netherlands, includes on its first day program the session Can A Mobile Game Change A Sick Teens Life, presented by Rosemary Lokhorst, Executive Director at Resonance House, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Community Foundation Silicon Valley.

“Rosemary Lokhorst is a technology entrepreneur and game producer, a professional geek with a creative mind and an interest in looking at things from a different angle. During her ascending career, she has worked in several Fortune 500 companies before investing in and joining a start-up with the mission of improving quality of life through technology in urban developments.

Over the years, she developed a keen interest in the storytelling potential that technology offers, and the potential for creating stories that are supported by the right technology in getting their message across. Discovering her creative side through that process, she now uses her ‘techspertise’ to produce content she is passionate about, focusing on impact messaging in entertainment and gaming.”

Rosemary is the producer and narrator of Shadow’s Edge, a mobile game designed to foster self-inquiry and acceptance in teenage players facing chronic illnesses and other health challenges.

Image credit: Shadow’s Edge by Resonance House, LLC

Through a fund with Silicon Valley Community Foundation, local philanthropist Sheri Sobrato Brisson and her team launched Shadow's Edge. Brisson saw that many adolescents undergoing medical treatments could use a simple tool to help guide them through the emotional journey of illness. She and her small team -- which includes Rosemary Lokhorst, the producer, researchers, and online community experts -- created the game. While the game uses terminology related to illness, diagnosis and treatment, prompts and questions were designed to be open-ended and broadly relatable.

Offered for free download and played on any phone or tablet, Shadow’s Edge empowers young people to discover their personal story and find the courage to express themselves authentically as they live with significant medical issues. It helps teens build their emotional endurance to tackle the challenges they face through the power of their personal narrative. Teens are engaged through their medium—technology—to come to terms with their experience.

Within The Game
For many young people who struggle with chronic or serious illness and disability, the weight of their health challenge is ever-present, yet no one is talking about the dark or scary side of their situations, let alone giving young people a tool to grow from their experience.

Using the metaphor of reviving a city struck by a storm, Shadow’s Edge guides the player through a process of self-inquiry within an edgy, urban gaming environment. Players express themselves through covering their city in graffiti as they create their personal journal and discover inspiration from teens in similar situations along the way.

Image credit: Shadow’s Edge by Resonance House, LLC
“Players create graffiti, which allows them to share their story while filling the city with color.”

The Guardians of the city are your allies, providing hidden wisdoms and clues to solve puzzles and riddles as you explore the mysterious urban maze.

Image credit: Shadow’s Edge by Resonance House, LLC

You have the power to save the abandoned city through your self-expression. Explore the mysterious worlds of Disruption, Disillusionment, and Discovery.

Image credit: Shadow’s Edge by Resonance House, LLC
Find your voice as you express how you truly feel, and see your writing elevate the mood and bring back color, beauty, and greenery as you spray-paint the walls of the city and fill your diary.

Through game play, teen players realize they don’t need to stay in a darkness—they have the power to reshape their world into whatever they choose. Through their expression, they can create beauty where there was once dilapidation -- There can be light; there can be color; there can be hope. And, there can be a community!

Shadow’s Edge is multi-lingual - although the game was developed in English, players can dictate and write in their native language.

Since launching in late 2017, Shadow's Edge has been downloaded more than 1,000 times, and Brisson's team is aiming for 10,000 downloads by the end of 2018, with the hope of retaining a core group of engaged, active players.

Shadow's Edge is free to download on the Apple App Store and Google Play