A $217,960 State Government social innovation grant enabled Holyoake to create DRUMBEAT Quest, used as an engaging, youth-friendly way to teach kids aged eight to 17 the social and emotional skills central to healthy relationships.
Holyoake chief executive Angie Paskevicius said the video game drew on its award-winning DRUMBEAT global therapeutic drumming program to create a rhythmic drumming journey that embraced the latest neuroscience to help with motor co-ordination, and managing emotion and anxiety.
�The feedback from students so far has been extremely positive and with values like empathy and social responsibility at the heart of DRUMBEAT Quest, we�re very excited about the potential of this powerful game to improve the lives of kids who play it,� Ms Paskevicius said.
The game is designed to be played in the company of a counsellor or educator and puts a community�s fate in the hands of the player who must venture into the �Badlands� to bring light back to a dark world.
Along the way, players encounter challenges such as rescuing vulnerable friends, confronting bullies, avoiding peer pressure, and choosing which rhythm will be most effective � listening, tolerance, respect, or teamwork.
�The gaming element makes this fun for students, reduces defensiveness and breaks down barriers so the educator or counsellor can open up important discussion areas that might otherwise be difficult,� DRUMBEAT manager Simon Faulkner said.
�The face-to-face interaction with adults and sometimes other players is unique and avoids further isolating players through over-reliance and involvement with the game itself.�
The next phase of game research will be conducted by The University of WA�s School of Population and Health and will involve Year 6 students from Koondoola Primary School.