We’ve all heard or read about the increase of time spent on social media and gaming platforms due to everyone staying in more because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately for many, this also increases the opportunities for mental health issues caused by online abuse and/or social media induced anxiety. Add to that the isolation many people have felt, and it’s no wonder more and more people are struggling with mental health issues than ever before.
But it isn’t all bad news. The sweet part of this story? Candy. The iconic candy brand NERDS has partnered with The Cybersmile Foundation which is an international non-profit organization that provides support for victims of cyberbullying and online hate campaigns.
These two entities have joined forces to create a Nintendo live simulation game called Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The sole purpose of the game is to provide a fun, safe place for young gamers while at the same time, offering mental and emotional support to those who are, or have been, victims of online abuse. Whether you need support or would just like to learn more about these issues, New Horizons serves as an excellent resource.
The colorful NERDS World island is equipped with an AI Assistant tool and QR codes that provide access to different Cybersmile resources and is populated with positive and encouraging messages. Each fun and inspirational activity offers a positive outlet for young players in a relaxing atmosphere that allows them to create thriving online communities within their digital island.
Players can play alone, or play with others. Either way, players don’t compete against one another, but work together which allows a more positive and uplifting experience. Animal Crossing: New Horizons can be played on Nintendo Switch consoles and is rated E for everyone.