Rosemary Lokhorst is the CEO of the Digging Deep Project and producer of Shadow’s Edge, a multiple award-winning game that drives better emotional health outcomes for young people by helping them build resilience and life skills.
As part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #2, Lokhorst will be giving a talk on how gaming can help in the current Covid-19 climate, and how the pandemic has affected Shadow's Edge.
Ahead of the show, we spoke to Lokhorst to find out more about the Digging Deep Project, and how she thinks the world of gaming will change over the next 12 months.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about the Digging Deep Project.
Rosemary Lokhorst: We believe that our gaming and online communities can positively impact teen mental health. We create content and tech products that help teens develop strength and confidence to face the hard stuff that comes their way. We are the Digging Deep Project, a small nonprofit with big aims to reach teens globally.
We created Shadow’s Edge to guide young people on their journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Our research shows that young people do want to take an active role in their wellbeing, but may not know how, or may be more comfortable doing so outside of their immediate friends and family.
Our impact studies have shown that by providing teens with self-help resources within a safe and fun environment, they are more open to learn about themselves and their challenges and express themselves. Now we need you to encourage young people in your life to play. Together, we can play it forward!
What does your role entail?
I am responsible for the foundation from fundraising to management to products etc., and as such also am responsible for the production and distribution of the game Shadow's Edge with our team.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I believe in the impact that games can have on people's lives, not just for entertainment, but to help tackle the world's larger problems. Just like we are trying to tackle the mental health crisis in young people with our free self-help game Shadow's Edge (with over 30,000 players to date).
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Find your passion and then follow that, and never give up.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
I think that is hard to say for me, as I am in a niche area of it.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
I predict that even more focus, due to what has happened recently, will go to social gaming and social platforms within games.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
I see more movement towards serious games, but also towards creating awareness for serious topics within mainstream games and the drive and want for more diverse games.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
The networking: it is always good to drive awareness through these opportunities, but also very important to look and listen to what other people are doing. Together we are stronger.