DeepWell Digital Therapeutics (DTx) welcomes former Global Game Jam executive director Kate Edwards as the newly unveiled game publisher’s head of global outreach and readiness. Edwards’ first initiative in her new role will be to oversee DeepWell’s first annual Mental Health Game Jam – an open call for teams of developers worldwide to come together to create valuable therapeutic experiences with games that can simultaneously serve as both entertainment and treatment.
Accepting submissions from 1 to 22 May, DeepWell’s Mental Health Game Jam – presented in partnership with the Global Game Jam – will see teams assembled from across the global game development community to make games from beginning to end in just a handful of weeks. In doing so, they’ll compete for the opportunity to win one-on-one consultation with DeepWell’s dedicated team of leading game and medical experts, alongside a bevy of cash prizes:
- First Place: $25,000, plus consultation and mentorship with industry experts to further develop the game beyond a jam prototype
- Second Place: $10,000
- Third Place: $5,000
Founded by Devolver Digital co-founder Mike Wilson and medtech innovator Ryan Douglas, DeepWell DTx) is a first-of-its-kind video game publisher and developer dedicated to creating best-in-class gameplay that can simultaneously entertain and deliver, enhance and accelerate treatment for an array of globally pervasive health conditions. In joining DeepWell’s team of more than 40 industry-leading creators, game designers, scientists and medical researchers, Edwards will build on her 28+ years of experience as an award-winning industry advocate and culturalisation consultant for BioWare, Electronic Arts (EA), Ubisoft, LEGO, Google, Amazon, and many more to further define the emerging field of immersive medicine.
All entries will be judged by Edwards alongside a five-member panel of DeepWell’s trusted experts, including:
- Shahid Ahmad | Developer Evangelist, DeepWell DTx
- Rami Ismail | Co-Founder of Vlambeer and Global Indie Champion
- Dr. Leeza Maron | Ph.D, Neuropsychology
- American McGee | Creator of Alice and Spicy Horse Games
- Dr. Anne Marie Porter | Ph.D, Health Psychology and Video Game Research
At the close of the submission deadline on 22 May, entries will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- Make it fun! Maximize entertainment to make your game engaging and playable
- Demonstrate how your game theme and mechanics address stress, anxiety or other related symptoms of depression
- Use your game to foster community, support and understanding of mental health challenges and conditions
Greater detail on the jam’s theme and developer notes incorporating treatment mechanisms with examples will be released in the coming days for participants to distinguish their entries by enhancing and refining the potential therapeutic value of their games. Work on game prototypes must begin on 1 May and be completed by 22 May by all teams.
Interested developers can fill out form on the DeepWell website to register.
All entries will be uploaded to Global Game Jam’s itch.io page for free public access, welcoming players to preview games whether or not they are creating them.