This year, National Youth Mental Health Organisation headspace and Riot Games Oceania have officially gone into partnership. To some, it may be unclear as to why a youth mental health organisation might be partnering with an esports/gaming organisation, but for headspace, it makes perfect sense.
Riot Games values not only align with those of headspace but they also genuinely have an interest in and are enthusiastic about helping gamers achieve their goals in the healthiest and most positive ways. As an expert in their field, they will allow us access to a priority audience for headspace – young men and online gamers.
Games are an integral part of human behaviour. It is normal and healthy for young people to engage in play as a part of their everyday lives, including playing online games.
Gaming can provide connectedness to others that enables young people to feel a sense of social inclusion and at healthy levels, it can increase self-esteem and social acceptance. It can also provide an opportunity for a structured daily routine and is a viable form of leisure activity.
However, it is important to note that any behaviour, when taken to the extreme, can cause harm. The feeling of becoming addicted to games is an example of this extreme and can impact on a young person’s mental health.
There is evidence that in some young people there is a significant impact with intense gaming. It appears to be most common in young men between 12-20 years of age and occurs around five times more frequently in men than in women.
In 2017, League of Legends player research showed that the number one value for Oceanic players is maintaining and promoting good mental health and wellbeing. With an audience of predominately 16-20 year olds, this partnership will allow headspace to engage and share mental health messages and resources with a lot of young people.
Riot Games is making a solid commitment to improving the mental health and wellbeing of their players and are passionate about supporting all young people in their mental health journey.
Earlier this year, Riot Games announced that round 6 of the OPL (Oceanic Pro League), will be the ‘headspace round’. This broadcast allowed headspace to share advice and resources that support young players and esports fans across Australia. It also undoubtedly assisted the League of Legends community in learning valuable self-help skills to maintain good mental health and wellbeing.
As part of the partnership, headspace will continue to collaborate with Riot Games to create online mental health resources for League of Legends players to help raise the mental health literacy of young people.
We’re looking forward to working with Riot Games to continue raising awareness of youth mental health across Australia.
About Riot Games
Riot Games was founded in 2006 by Brandon Beck and Marc Merrill with the intent to change the way video games are made and supported for players. In 2009, Riot released its debut title League of Legends to worldwide acclaim. The game has since gone on to become the most played PC game in the world and a key driver of the explosive growth of esports. Players are the foundation of our community and it’s for them we continue to evolve and improve the League of Legends experience. Riot Games is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA and has 23 offices worldwide.