rocologoforsite.gifInspire Foundation has developed a game called Reach Out Central! (ROC), that “promotes positive youth mental health by adapting content from effective psychological intervention.” The game provides an interactive environment for those ages 16-25 years to identify and deal with depression, anger, and anxiety. According to Inspire, 1 in 5 young people experience some sort of mental health problem yet only 29% seek clinical help, most often turning to the internet for support. The foundation hopes that ROC will help these young people to deal with their mental problems.

The game is fairly easy to play. In a snapshot, you are in a new town and must make new friends by learning to communicate with characters in the game. Initiating conversation with another computer character will stimulate a short chat that provides you with a list of possible responses. After the conversation, you can check the game character’s bio and their “affinity rating” with you during the contact. In addition, you may participate in activities that would either increase or decrease you stress level. Think of the game as a “Choose your adventure book,” but in this case, it’s a “Choose your emotion” game.

ROC puts a twist to anger or depression management. It allows users to discover the right and wrong ways of dealing with different situations in a safe, comfortable environment. The graphics in the game are amazing, the music makes it seem hip to play, and the game works both in FireFox as well as Internet Explorer.


Figure 1. Picture of a player’s virtual room


Figure 2. Learning to talk to Mom