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VR project puts players in the shoes of LGBT+ people for Mental Health Awareness Week

Ed Nightingale May 21, 2021
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Unity Rare Beauty Challenge

What It's Like To Be Me. (Helsa)

A new VR project in Unity, “What It’s Like To Be Me”, aims to put players in the shoes of LGBT+ people.

Game engine Unity teamed up with Selena Gomez’s Rare Beauty company for Mental Health Awareness week, creating the Rare Beauty Challenge.

The initiative aims to create digital experiences that offer a fresh perspective on the challenges and treatment of mental health issues.

Two projects were chosen as winners, of which “What It’s Like To Be Me” is one.

The project simulates the experience of being LGBT+ through virtual reality, based on five authentic stories from members of the community.

Users will experience first-hand the stress triggers that impact LGBT+ people every day, like discrimination and stigma.

It uses gamification and colour psychology to represent stress triggers and inspire empathy. It’s not only to highlight the challenges of being LGBT+, but to highlight the strength and resilience of the community.

The project was created by Helsa, an organisation that assists LGBT+ people with learning about mental wellbeing and uses proprietary matching technology to link LGBT+ people with an appropriate therapist.

The other winning project is “Apart of Me”, a mobile game to support young people and families dealing with grief.

It sees a child character landing in a strange world where various quests will help them to learn and cope with loss in an interactive yet safe way.

“Apart of Me” is particularly timely, with over 1 million children and young people experiencing loss during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rare Beauty Challenge is part of Unity’s Unity for Humanity campaign, driving meaningful change in social justice. Read more information on the campaign here.

Rare Beauty is Selena Gomez’s cosmetics company that aims to support mental health initiatives.

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Related topics: gaming, LGBT gaming

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