Reach Out Reaches Into Feel Good Gaming

reachout_01.jpg For young adults, Reach Out can be an invaluable resource. Growing up can be a difficult part of life, especially if like me you weren't served a full deck of Man cards. Peer pressure, stress from work and school and self-esteem issues all manifest themselves during these turbulent years, so it's nice to have a website that provides solid, useful advice on managing it all.

In an innovative, creative and downright awesome move, Reach Out has launched an online flash game called Reach Out Central (ROC). It's no Call of Duty, but then, it's not meant to be. Imagine a realistic, uh, Australian version of The Sims, and you're kind of there.

Big props to Sony for donating $500,000 to the project. There's even a nice quote in the press release from Michael Ephraim, the man in the big chair at SCEA, which you can take a gander at by reading on.

Play for your life at Reach Out Central

Sydney, 17 September 2007: Reach Out! Australia’s leading website for helping you through tough times has today launched a new interactive game space where you can learn skills other games can’t teach you.

Log onto www.reachoutcentral.com.au where we twist gaming on its head. Instead of collecting ammo collect stuff like good-mood vibes and tips for boosting your self-confidence.

The single player role-play game features innovative 3D graphics that allows you to make decisions, control the game play, go to parties and make friends in the Reach Out Central town. The game design also has integrated mobile phone technology which sends text message reminders and hints about the game straight to your mobile.

ROC features tracks from awesome Australian artists who have contributed music for the project. These include Missy Higgins, Old Man River, Guy Sebastian, Lost Valentinos, Astronomy Class, Macromantics, The Hampdens, TZU, Wons Phreely, Telemetry Orchestra, bluejuice and Lior. Play your fave tracks on the in-game mp3 player and program the soundtrack to your life.

Reach Out! Youth Ambassador Rosie Swanton, 19, says; “I’ve played ROC a few times now and it’s awesome to hit the mall, get a job, make new friends and listen to music, and I know now that when I make a decision in real-life it will make me feel a certain way.”

Funding for Reach Out Central has been provided by visionary funders Sony Foundation Australia, who contributed $500,000 through its Project Rainbow program, that supports young Australians. Substantial financial support was also received from beyondblue, NSW Health, Teen Spirit Foundation and Golden Stave Foundation. Recognising the enormous potential of online games to reach young people, beyondblue: the national depression initiative has provided funds, encouragement and ongoing support to the Inspire Foundation to develop this game from the initial concept stage through to completion.

Michael Ephraim, Sony Foundation Governor said: “The Sony Group has long been associated with innovative technology, so we are particularly proud to support this ground-breaking initiative through the Sony Foundation. Reach Out Central has enormous potential to have a positive impact on young people and improving mental health.”

Chairman of beyondblue, The Hon. Jeff Kennett said: “This is a fantastic project and a great step forward in getting information to young people about depression and how to get through tough times. We believe going online like this is a creative way to reach young men, in particular, in their comfort zone.”

Log onto www.reachoutcentral.com.au to find out what ‘golden boy’ Chris is keeping from you and to see whether Misha, Widget and Tim will keep the band together for one last gig…


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