Life skills game hard to beat

Drumbeat Quest scooped best video game at the WA Screen Awards.
Drumbeat Quest scooped best video game at the WA Screen Awards.

Drumbeat Quest complements the Drumbeat music program created by Holyoake, a WA drug and alcohol counselling and support provider with hubs in Northam and Midland.

The music program uses hand drumming to explore the connections between making music and developing healthy lives and relationships.

Students who play Drumbeat Quest express feelings in a safe and non-confrontational way through the video game, and are more conducive to engaging better academically and socially, according to sponsorship partner The Fogarty Foundation.

The rhythmic drumming adventure explores themes linked to healthy and meaningful lives, incorporating themes of trust, peer pressure, mental health, drug and alcohol use, bullying, grief and social responsibility.

Swan View Senior High School students in years 7 and 8 put the game to the test earlier this year.

Physical education teacher Seb Salinas said the video game became part of the weekly health program.

�Computers are a big part of students� lives and the educational game was something different, another frontier; students were always well engaged,� Mr Salinas said.

Judges announced the category winner on Monday night at a gala ceremony hosted by the Film and Television Institute inside the State Theatre Centre.

Holyoake chief executive Angie Paskevicius said the award was testament to the cutting-edge approach of the game and its potential to help young people around the globe.

�We�re very excited these awards have recognised the incredible achievement that Drumbeat Quest is and the tremendous effort and teamwork it took to develop it,� she said.

�In blending our successful Drumbeat global therapeutic drumming program with world-class gaming technology, we�ve created a game that really connects with young people and gives them a modern, engaging way to learn life-changing social and emotional skills.�

The project received a social innovation grant from the State Government.

Australian gaming company Robot Circus developed the educational game concept with its Jurassic Park game creators.

�Since launching Drumbeat Quest just a few months ago, we�ve fielded inquiries from schools and community organisations both in Australia and overseas, and this award will no doubt add to the interest it�s been getting,� Ms Paskevicius said.

The Fogarty Foundation has sponsored 200 scholarships for students in low socio-economic schools.